Le Petit Prince

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

I’m a fan of the intangible. And I’m rarely rocked by the unseen. In fact, faith feels comfortable to me, like the skin I’m in.  Sometimes I think with all of our modern advancements, we miss out on the simple stuff that helps us feel.  That helps us remember.  So I make it a point to wrap myself up in nostalgia often.  Books are a means to a nostalgic end.  Years ago, I lapped up I Capture the Castle and felt myself back in England again.  I made sure Rachel read a copy, so she was there with me too.  Seemed like old times.  When Rae gave me 84, Charring Cross Road that warm, shimmering feeling returned.  Jane Austen is guaranteed comfort.  

Few books feel more nostalgic to me than The Little Prince.  I can no longer remember when my mom introduced me to the curly toe-headed boy who hails from another planet and never answers direct questions.  A boy who captured even my young heart.  Aptly called a prince, he reminds me that being an adult may be a bit over-rated: “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”  It seems reasonable then that the boy teaches the novella’s narrator, a pilot who has crashed his plane in the Sahara Desert with only a week’s supply to survive, to hear laughter in the stars.  The pilot and I remember our inner child.  We reminisce about the wonder of childhood and long to return—if only to worry less about life’s utilitarian concerns and focus more on finding harmony.  To watch more sunsets.   

My favorite lesson from the philosophical fairy tale is about love.  From the very beginning, the pilot’s drawings of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant—from the inside out—hints that everyone conceals within themselves a treasure.  Every person possesses a secret goodness that can only be discovered with the heart.  The fox, like a hundred thousand other foxes, recognizes that if the prince tames him, they will have a unique relationship.  (I imagine Rachel and I have tamed one another.) It is the fox who perceptively says, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  

That is the secret isn’t it—the one that children seem to understand and adults often forget.  So we need reminders that our hearts should be in charge. That is why I come back to this gem often.  (The pictures speak to me too.) It’s small like the prince’s planet complete with 3 volcanoes, some plants, and a rose with 4 thorns.  This charmer is well worth 60 minutes of your time. There are ample reasons this book has sold over 140 million copies worldwide.  It will melt your heart—it does mine every time.

More nostalgia coming our way in March of 2016:

Posted by Tracy