"The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in." ~W. H. Auden
Every little girl has her favorite fairytale. The reason the story is her favorite is as unique and individual as she is -- a seemingly innocent glimpse into her psyche and her own brand of romance.
For me, it has always been "Beauty and the Beast."
Ever since I was old enough to pick up a book, I have been captivated by the rich romance and the sensual mystery wrapped up in the tale itself.
...a handsome yet arrogant prince, cursed to bear the visage of a beast until he can find someone to love him for his heart and not for his looks.
A dreamy and intelligent French girl who finds herself in an enchanted castle with a moody, romantic creature because of her father's careless mistake.
I don't know what it is about the story of the melancholy beast and the beautiful young bookworm that captivates me so strongly.
In fact, no matter what version or retelling of the story, I have yet to find one that does not capture the unspeakable essence of the story.
Perhaps it is the dramatic emotions of the story...maybe it is the elegant intensity found as the tale progresses...it might even be the gripping and beautiful truths found wrapped in this breathtaking package...
...the idea that beauty is more than just the outward appearance...that the heart is more important than the skin...
...the reminder that pride should be tempered with grace and elegance, and that books are doors to a vast world of imagination and romance...
For even in our adult world, filled with real-life problems and sorrows more than our hearts can bear at times, sometimes we need to remember a few basic truths from the fairytales that whisper to our youthful hearts.
Perhaps we need to take the time to crack open the long-forgotten spine of a familiar story, inhale the sent of leather and dust, and allow ourselves to find that place again...
...that place where roses are magical and castles in France hold our imaginations spellbound.