The following vignette was written back in 2013 as a college senior for a final project. The task was to reflect back on moments and individuals in our lives that had influenced and shaped who were were, at that time, as writers, thus creating a “Writer’s History.” “The Little Prince” remains one of my favorite books to this day, and it always reminds me to tend to my rose, or in other words, take care of what it is I love despite the troubles. This moment also remains one of my favorites, as it affirmed what I had known all along to be true: my love of words matters.
It’s a thin book, in paperback form. A boy with unruly blonde hair stands on what appears to be a huge rock or a tiny planet. He is dressed in a bow tie and a green, bell-bottomed suit as he stares off into the distance, his mouth an “o.” “The Little Prince,” the book is called, and it’s written by some person whose name I can’t pronounce. There are illustrations in it, and I wonder if this is a kid’s book. I’m thirteen, not four, I think. I thank my sister Alex for the Christmas gift and go to my room. As I hold the book I get the feeling that there’s more to it than meets the eye, however. I open it.
On the cover page, in black letters, I find an inscription written in my sister’s neat cursive. It is a brief, yet meaningful message in which she promises the book will be important to me. I read the last two sentences over and over again: “May you forever continue to love books. There is no greater gift.” No one has ever inscribed a book to me before. And no one has ever acknowledged my undying love for literature in such a way, either. I realize that someone sees how much I love to read, and furthermore, they see potential in me. I feel something in my chest which I cannot quite place but I blink it away.