Halloween is on Sunday, and as is his tradition, Linus Van Pelt is in the pumpkin patch. As I read the funny pages this morning, it occurred to me that Linus has been sitting in that pumpkin patch each Halloween for more than 60 years. Some might call him stupid, but I think we can all learn something from Linus’ stubborn idealism and seemingly unbreakable grip on his dream to see “The Great Pumpkin.”
We all have our own Great Pumpkins, don’t we? Those inklings we feel in our gut about what we’re really here to do. Maybe they’re faint. Maybe they’ve grown loud. They’re the things we know but don’t always trust. They’re the roads we can’t see to the end of — the ones we’d just like to forget so that we can go about our daily lives in peace and comfort. Often our Great Pumpkins are hard to share with the world because they’re fragile and can easily wither at the hands of challenge, adversity, and the input of others. Unfortunately, they’re also the things that need our stubborn tenacity the most, which is what Linus demonstrates for us each year.
Linus was never my favorite Peanuts character. His odd commitment to his blue blanket coupled with his bend toward the brainy and his seemingly endless patience for Lucy’s bullying made him hard for me to love. I never understood what Sally saw in him. But as I try to hold tight to my dreams in the face of everything the world is throwing at them, I feel a new solidarity with this quietly fierce little boy. His firm dedication and trust in his own beliefs, despite the bullying, laughing, and lack of support, is inspiring to me.
So, cheers to you, Linus! I’m rooting for you this year. I finally understand that the only way to have a chance to see that Great Pumpkin is to show up in the pumpkin patch day after day and make it known to god and everyone that you’re serious.
Who knows if Linus will see the Great Pumpkin this year. Maybe after 60 years of waiting, this is finally his year. Unlikely? Yes. But you just never know, do you?
Great Pumpkin image from Wikipedia. Used under fair use license.