I know, I know, Bilbo and I! I’m trying to make a point here. Bilbo is one of my favorite book characters. Obviously I’m not a romance reader. I don’t go for the tall, dark, and handsome, sweep me off my feet kind of guy. I’m more for a cozy fresh-baked bread, pot of tea, and jam kind of guy.
That’s my Bilbo! He’s just a regular guy, er, hobbit. He lives in snug, but clean house underground with a view of the garden. He loves to cook and write. (Me too!) There’s that smoking thing and beer that I can do without, but I appreciate his hominess. He is the ultimate homebody. He’s not a bigshot in the community, he’s just another hobbit, settled in his habits and traditions. I can identify with that.
But where did all these dwarfs come from! Who said they could walk in and make themselves at home–so many of them! Bilbo reacts like I do when dwarfs rock the boat. I get flustered too. But there’s something in him that even he didn’t know about. Something Gandalf could see, but Bilbo would never accept if told. Something that carried him through danger and fear. He possessed courage even he didn’t know he had. And in the end, the old traditions just weren’t all that special anymore. Bilbo found out how big the world really was and sought out retirement with the elves in a place far from his old hobbit hole. There’s a journey for you.
I like to think that if Bilbo can do it, we all can. It would be nice not to face the dragon, but there are worse than dragons in our world and there are times when we have to stand up to them. The testing of courage is no easy matter, but coming out on the other side alive and well takes us to another place altogether. Then we can go home to our tea and jam, or hang out with the elves. It’s great to have choices, but you have to follow the journey to find them.