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'... think how wonderful it will be when...'

THE LITTLE PRINCE

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


'The Little Prince' is ostensibly a story for children, yet many an adult has enjoyed it too. It's a tale of a little boy - the titular prince - who lives alone on his planet and decides to visit other planets to discover who else is out there. After several encounters he lands on Earth, where he meets a fox who, much like the little prince, is seeking more from life. The fox lives a lonely existence near a corn field and, in this excerpt, he explains to the little prince what is missing from his life and asks if the little prince would help him by taming him:

'... Corn fields remind me of nothing. Which is sad. On the other hand, your hair is the colour of gold. So think how wonderful it will be when you have tamed me. The corn, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I shall come to love the sound of the wind in the field of corn...'

I find this passage tremendously poignant. The fox is sad in the corn fields because they hold no meaning for him and, in living a meaningless life, he finds no pleasure.

In hopes of changing this, he is prepared to forego his independence and submit to the care of the little prince. He anticipates that as he and the boy come to matter to each other, the corn fields will take on new meaning. They will become the setting in which the boy takes care of the fox and, in this way, the corn fields will be forever transformed into a deeply nourishing environment - one in which the fox has experienced love.


 


Our surroundings often resonate with echoes of the relationships that have played out in them. In certain spaces, we might find ourselves feeling the way we did when significant others were with us. This embodied sense of 'self-with-other' can be tremendously potent as our brains are primed to link emotionally-significant experiences with the places in which they take place.

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