Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and the 4 Year Old BackpackersJohn Cave Osborne
A couple of tidbits you may or may not know about me. Number one: I’m a big Dr. Seuss guy. Love him. He’s a genius. And I write about him every year around this time, in honor of his March 2 birthday, whether here on Babble, or on my personal blog.
And number two: I’m a big backpacker. That’s another topic I’ve written about multiple times on Babble and my own blog. And with Dr. Suess’ The Lorax just days away from hitting the big screen, my love for Dr. Seuss and my love for nature are about to collide in a roundabout way, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Aside from my family (obviously) and maybe writing, there’s nothing I love more than trekking a mountain trail through a forest of firs. My favorite part of any trail comes after an arduous uphill climb when it finally relents and leads you through the canopy of the trees and onto a bluff where all the other peaks of the range awaits. It’s there where you’ll be in awe of the sight, of your accomplishment, as you gulp cool mountain air that tickles lungs that are gasping for more.
The portrait of those peaks, with their kaleidoscope of trees brushed upon a never-ending and pocked canvas, is a masterpiece, one that too often is taken for granted. Many of you probably live near a national park or a national forest, places that many good and farsighted people fought hard to protect and conserve. But almost as many of you probably don’t capitalize on those wise people’s deeds. I know I didn’t. For over half my life. And I live right next door to the Smokies.
But now that I’m into it, I’m passing it on, most notably to the triplets. They look at pictures of my 65-mile trips with eyes as wide as manhole covers and insist that they, too, will become backpackers one day. Wouldn’t that be great? If they came to understand why I love the great outdoors, and maybe even also came to understand how important it is to be good stewards of our environment long before the age I ever learned such a thing?
They’re four now. And they’re dying to see The Lorax, which debuts this Friday on what would have been the Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday. And I’m dying to see it with them.
I won’t harp on the message too hard. I’ll let them enjoy the sensory overload of the bright images that dance on the screen as their funny rhymes shimmy inside their little ears. But at some point, after the popcorn is all gone, I’ll revisit the movie and its message of conservation. And I’ll be sure to tell them that the Lorax is a hero of mine — someone I’m striving to become more like, someone I hope they’re striving to become more like, too.
And when they ask why, I’ll let them know that without people like him, Daddy might not be able to help them become backpackers.
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