“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
– Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Little Prince
The Little Prince is one of my very favorite books, right up there with the Velveteen Rabbit. These tales seem written for children but there messages speak to us all. In the story the Prince has a bit of a complicated relationship with his Rose. In the garden we learn a great deal about taming and maintaining and his relationship with his rose is a perfect example. Gardening can become a balancing act between the garden looking as we desire and the time we have to dedicate to its up keep. If you get plants that are invasive, temperamental or grow to fast and to big you can become overwhelmed. Doing some research can help but sometimes a plant comes to you and you don’t know what it will become. Like the Prince’s constant battle with the baobab trees that are over taking the surface of his planet; I have a shrimp plant next to the little maple tree that keeps trying to take over the bed. I am trying to keep it away from the light and branches of the maple. There are days when I think to remove it. So like in all life we are faced with difficult decision and we become responsible for the fate of our plants. And when we fail we feel sad but hopefully we have learned from our efforts. I have nurtured this little Japanese Maple tree for four years now and this year I feel that it is going to be fine. Finding the right spot is half the battle. I do not actually know what kind of Japanese Maple it is but I am hoping that it will not grow to be more than 6 feet tall and be happy in this flower bed. I have always loved plants and at times form strong attachments to them, which is the case with this little maple!
The Little Prince encounters such dilemmas on his little planet with his love and desire to protect his rose. It is an insightful story about human nature. If you have not read it I hope you do!
The story’s essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. (“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”)” – Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince