“Draw a sheep.”
“I can’t draw a sheep.”
“Here is mine. It’s a crate with 3 holes on the side. That way the sheep is whatever you image it to be.” – The Little Prince.
I first learned about The Little Prince when I was in high school. In French Class my teacher handed out a small paperback book to each student. Le Petit Prince introduced himself, and we were all for the better. This 1943 story by Antoine de Saint Expery intrigued me, not only because it is a story of the secret of life, but because it was written by a fighter pilot that was killed in World War II. When serious topics are combined with magical thinking, I am enthralled.
Looking back, I’m impressed that I could actually read a book in French. Now, I recognize a word or two, or a phrase, but reading a story – no way! For those of you unfamiliar with the story, a pilot crashes into a desert and encounters a small boy. The boy tells his story of visiting various planets and explains what he has learned.
“Everything that is essential, is invisible to the eye,” remarks the Little Prince. I remind myself of that everyday. It is a message that is harder and harder to internalize. In our age of consumerism, having a focus that is not on appearances, things, and technology is difficult.
I visited Paris about ten years ago and longed for a piece of the Prince. I hoped the story was alive and well in the country where it originated. Low and behold, I found some post cards and a few items at art stands along the Seine. I display them in my house and as I move throughout the day, I often think of the impact that tiny book, given to me years ago, has had on me. I feel that I too have traveled to many planets and learned many lessons. Let’s hope that what is truly essential continues to be invisible…. love, health, kindness, compassion…
I will think of Antoine de Saint Expery this Memorial Day.
His ability to see goodness and to spread what is truly essential in
life is needed now more than ever. Merci!
P.S. Can’t wait to see the new Little Prince movie!