Monday, July 13, 2015
The Salmon, the Fox and The Little Prince at the Boarding Gate
A lady in line behind me at the Southwest gate at BWI asks about things to do in Seattle. "Start at Pike Place Market," I suggest. "It is a synchronicity magnet. Eat wild fresh salmon."
She asks whether I am going home or traveling for business or on vacation. "At Mosswood Hollow, it's all three, I tell her." She is amazed that my surname is enfolded in the name of my favorite retreat center in North America, and wants to know what I teach there.
Soon we are talking about the magic of chance encounters, and how the powers behind the curtain of the world reveal their presence through synchronicity, and how we dream the future and can change it for the better.
The kid behind her leans in, apparently looking for a way to join our conversation. He finds his moment when the lady asks, "What is the best season for fresh salmon in the Pacific Northwest?"
"Year round," he says. He got that right. Clearly a native of the Northwest.
I notice the logo on his sweatshirt. Naval Academy Wrestling. Really? He explains he has spent six days wrestling Navy Seals with his high school team. The Seals gave them the sweatshirts as souvenirs.
"They gave us Le Petit Prince to read in French class in school," he tells me. "I thought you might know it."
Indeed. In no time we are talking about alternative translations for the word apprivoisé in Saint-Exupéry's beloved fable. The fox tells the little prince he cannot reveal the most important secret until he has been apprivoisé. The standard translation is "tamed" but the sense in more like "until we have become close" or "until we have gotten to know each other."
When the fox delivers the secret it goes like this: “You can only see clearly with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes."
The eyes of the high school wrestler are dancing. Such an intelligent, sensitive face in such a strong frame. A young prince of the Pacific Northwest.
Our conversation ends when we board because after six days wrestling with Seals, he has to sleep. A friendly wink from the universe: the Little Prince and the wild salmon at the boarding gate.