With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.
Truthfully, I had a whole other blog post written for today, but I watched the new Netflix movie of The Little Prince with my kids, which inspired me to revisit the book (which is quite a quick read, even when you let the words repeat and sink in).
I read this book when I was very young, and then again when I was just the average young. Now, my youngness (I know that’s not a word) is slipping from me and I see the story differently.
Usually, I rave about Middle Grade on here and say, “read them yourself, read them to your kids!” This one is different for me.
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” – The Little Prince
The whole concept of this story, the most beautiful parts, were totally lost on my kids. Granted, they are very young, and maybe as teenagers they would get it a little bit more, but I’m not so sure this book is properly appreciated until you finally realize what it is Saint-Exupery is trying to say.
When you are turning 33 but you still cling to the magic of childhood and try to see the world through the eyes of your children. When you are all at once the pilot, and the little prince. You know what the rose means and what the fox represents.
But you know you still don’t remember being a child exactly right, even in your attempt to hold on tight.
I don’t want to be the adult who misses the elephant inside of the boa constrictor and only sees the hat. But, at the same time, I know that being a grown-up comes with wisdom, too, and that I wouldn’t love lines like this if I were still a caterpillar and not a butterfly:
“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” – The Little Prince
So now, in rediscovering this classic, I am once again looking for the well in the desert. I am cherishing my relationships, and putting the work in. I am more earnest about the search for my inner child. I am looking up at the starry night sky, searching for what once was, and I will laugh.
“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh” – The Little Prince