The other day I received an important message. Today that message is coming to you. The message came at me from three separate sources: from Mister Rogers of classic tv’s Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, from Eloise, a fictitious little girl of the classic Eloise book series by Kay Thompson and from Amy Hollingsworth, a writer. These three individuals directed me to another book and the source of the message, to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. I don’t know about you, but when things come at me in two’s or three’s I pay attention.
It all started when I was reading The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth
and a lovely book it is too, filled with many warm and wonderful spiritual reflections. (I highly recommend this book to you.) It seems The Little Prince was one of Mister Roger’s favorites. Amy, one of Fred’s pen friends, said Fred spent most of his life quoting the following words from The Little Prince:
“L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux“
Well, I always loved Mister Rogers and I’ve written to him myself. I also love the French language, along with many other French things – French food and the restaurants that serve it, the French countryside, and my lovely French friends, Stephanie, Patrice and their sweet children – Llyona, Marc-Aurele and Arpad. So, when the above French words popped out at me from the Mister Rogers’ book, of course I took special notice of them. In case you don’t speak French here’s what they mean:
“What is essential is invisible to the eye”
Have you ever given thought to this idea? I have, especially in regard to letter writing. You see, I write to very many people whom I’ve never met ‘in person’, never even seen in a picture. I get to know many of these people by way of The Letter Exchange, (www.letter-exchange.com) an organization which puts letter writers together. Though some folks I meet in this way will send pictures of themselves, most will not, but pictures or no pictures, great friendships evolve as letters are shared. You may think it strange that people could become great friends even though they have absolutely no idea what each other look like, but it is possible. I have many of such friends. (Hello to Gwen, Patricia, Erika, and all the rest of you) Why, I could be sitting next to one of these favorite people on a plane and never even know it! But I’ve often thought how wonderful this is, for in letter writing people can get to know each other’s spirit without letting physical appearance get in the way. Looks can be so deceiving you know! And I do believe
“What is essential is invisible to the eye”
But besides the spirit of a person being invisible yet very important, there are many other invisible things we should not neglect. What do you think they are? What is essential for you? It’s good to take time out for serious reflection now and then, the kind of reflection letter writing provides, for only with thoughtful reflection will we ever come to know what is essential.
My “dead friend” Lord Byron, the poet, put it very well when he used to say:
A life without reflection is a sad affair
But you may be wondering where Eloise comes in to this story. Well, I was having a movie night for the children in my church choir and I needed a good film so I did a search on Net Flix for something fun, but something that was also thoughtful. I came upon a Disney remake of the classic Eloise at the Plaza. Ah, the Plaza! I love that hotel in New York City.
So that was enough for me and the film proved to be just delightful. I suggest you check it out no matter how old you are. Julie Andrews plays a darling nanny (nothing like Mary Poppins).
And Eloise is so cute, so devilish, but so full of life and thoughtful too – I found her very inspiring. We’d all have a lot more fun if we acted like Eloise now and then.
Disney was so true to the book too – a wonderful thing. Here’s an example. Just take a look at the book and then a scene from the film.
And the film had a little prince in it too -not Antoine’s Little Prince but a prince just the same, a prince who was quite touched by the message in Saint Exupery’s book, a book which became important to Eloise’s story. The prince was touched by the message in The Little Prince as was I, as was Mister Rogers and hopefully as you are too… because it’s so very true.
“L’ essentiel est invisible pour les yeux”
WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE
Let this be your thought for the day
(or at least one of them)
by way of Mister Rogers, Eloise, Amy Hollingsworth