To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Names are VERY important to me, always have been; so, when I was choosing a name for this blog, you can believe it took me quite some time to decide on a name!

This being an adoption and baby-centric blog, the idea that kept popping into my head came from my favorite children's books (really, one of the best books of all time, period), "Le Petit Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Anyone who has read this book recognizes the brilliance of Saint-Exupery in imparting wisdom and life lessons in patience, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and ultimate love in a book full of humor, whimsy, and fanciful illustrations.  It's just fabulous!

One of my favorite sections of the book is when the Little Prince is telling his new friend the Fox about his home planet.  On the Prince's tiny planet, there is hardly anything at all; but there is one thing that the Prince considers very precious, a single rose.

The story of the boy Prince and his beloved rose is that of true love.  During their coversation, the Prince reveals that he has discovered a whole garden of roses nearby.  At first, he feels betrayed; his rose told him she was the only one of her kind, and suddenly, here are thousands just like her!

However, the fox begins to teach the young Prince about the concept of being "tamed" (this is paraphrased):

"What does that mean 'tame'?"  the little prince asks the fox.

"It is an act too often means to establish ties," the fox replies.

"I am beginning to understand," he replies, "There is a flower...I think that she has tamed me."

The fox then encourages the Prince to go back to the garden to give the multitudinous roses another look (this is from the book's English translation exactly):

"Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses. "You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing.  No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world." And the roses were very much embarrassed. "You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on.

"One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you, the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose."

He then returns to get the secret promised to him by the fox, and one of the most important lessons that anyone of any age should
learn in life:

"Goodbye," said the fox. "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."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose..." said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have
tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember."

Responsibility, loyalty, selfless love - such important and lovely lessons and so sweetly stated...

I am the Prince, young and still learning...and somewhere, out in the future, over 7,000 miles and an ocean and continent away, is my future child, my rose!

To love a rose is to put selfless time and energy into it's upkeeping and beautification, both internally and externally.  So will be my love for my future child, my rose.

"I am responsible for my child"...I will repeat it, so that I will be sure to remember.

Blessings and More Blessings,
(Le Petit Prince and his rose by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

No comments:

Post a Comment