The works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry are a classic in literature that never cease to inspire. The French writer manages to see in the most everyday and innocent details of life truths of a philosophical depth that our Enrique Lopez, student of Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), does not escape either. Following a rose, Enrique talks to us about the transcendence of love.
A rose stuck in the sand
It was eleven o'clock in the morning. My mother, my little sister and I were about to do our usual thing: spend a nice time at the seashore, this time at the Torremolinos beach. But this was not going to be just any beach day. Suddenly something unprecedented, something new crossed my path. They must not have noticed. I, on the other hand, was already absorbed, as if enraptured by the notoriety of the event. A rose! A rose was there, stuck in the middle of the beach, rooted in the stony Malaga sand. Next to it, a woman entrance in years quietly looking at her cell phone screen -I'd like to think she would be reading- I tell my mother: "Look, Mom: a rose stuck in the sand!" She, sketching a complicit smile, snaps at me, "It's true! How cool!". Then I, delighted as one who suddenly rejoices at good news, tell her that I'm going to take a picture of it, that this must be immortalized. "It's like the rose of the Little Prince," I mutter to myself.
I approach the lady, greet her cordially and ask her if she wouldn't mind if I took a picture of her rose, and to make matters worse, she tells me that the rose is not hers, that it was already there when she arrived. To make matters worse, she tells me that the rose is not hers, that it was already there when she arrived. That's all I needed! My imagination then began to get out of hand, to emancipate itself from reason. She elaborated with meticulous precision what had happened, a disgrace! A gallant would have placed his last hopes of conquest in that rose. The young maiden, haughty and suspicious, cold and distant, would have rejected the declaration of love.
The rose. What a beautiful thing the rose is. It is the star of romanticism; the crown jewel of courtly love. The man, avid inquisitor of the deepest yearnings that inhabit the heart of his lady, goes out of himself, is embarrassed, spends his time preparing for the event and...
Life is full of roses stuck in the sand; of hard-earned attempts to achieve something that are sunk in misery, engulfed by failure. Defeat always has that bittersweet taste of having given everything but not having achieved what you wanted. Defeat is that rose stuck in the sand: solitary, bushy, dancing to the whimpering of the wind. The sea for company. The sea! The infinite! The abyssal! The sand is the aridity, the bitter touch that spices up the dish of impotence. The rose, the beauty of the process, the growth of the agent subject, of the intrepid fighter, of the daring soldier who has given his life, his honor and all his powers for a mad business.
Perhaps that young man did not think of all this when he sadly left that flower stuck in the sand. Or perhaps he did. Who knows? What he surely did not expect is that another restless young man, another soldier who in his day also fell in combat, was going to pick up his rose; and much less that it would end up in the lap of an image of the Virgin that he has in his house. Because love is like that, infinite, and every act of love has an ineffable redundancy. Now the rose - 'her' rose -, the one that hoists the uneasiness, the disappointment, the despair, sleeps peacefully in the shadow of Mary; now, the rose has no thorns, it is dressed in the garment of the pain already suffered, and it is given to the one who suffered the most. Love always wins. I put the rose as a witness.
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