This recent election has been getting me back into the books I loved at a child (sometimes it seems like the only safe space left). Oh how I loved the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I think with how quickly childhood moves, it is very rare to remember everything and so it’s extra special to see a book like this, which is so universally recognized and loved.
I can think of countless friends who remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a favorite part of their childhoods. When I reread it yesterday, I was struck by how simple it was. Sometimes, children need a simple idea that is easy for them to cultivate into their own imaginative ideas and experiences. For example, while the hungry caterpillar is pictured eating through one apple, two pears, three plums, etc., the amounts of food I imagined him to be consuming was limitless. I saw him consuming mountains of hamburgers, pizza, fruit salads, macaroni and cheese, and more. I saw him consuming the Mount Rushmore of food, entire oceans of orange juice and valleys of ice cream. It’s a ripe book for imagination.
As I was saying, I love how simple the story is. One of my favorite lines from the movie Where the Heart is, is “Do you read the Bible? Not very much. Good, I think that’s good. You know, I think that people should only read little bits at a time. If they read too much, they just get all confused.”
Sometimes, life can be so complicated and overwhelming that we cease to understand it. Like why do we STILL HAVE AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE. But when once in a lifetime a book like The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes along, in which the process of life is laid out simply; we are born, we eat, we learn, we grow, we develop into beautiful butterflies. A beautiful, simplistic, circle of life.
Sometimes I think that we can learn the most important lessons from children. To never make life too complicated, to always enjoy your food, and to embrace our inner butterflies 🙂