Recently, I was presented with a MIRACULOUS opportunity. I had the privilege of discussing THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE with four very diverse families. Before I go any further, here is a synopsis of the book:
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, for he was owned by a girl named Abilene who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. Throughout his miraculous journey, Edward faced the risk it takes to love and be loved when you open your heart to others.
You might find THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE in the Children’s section at the library or a local bookstore, but the book is never “childish”, and the message of love is a simple one that appeals to people of all ages. That was evident in my recent discussion with our “Journeymakers.”
Each family read THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, and then attended a discussion where virtually no topic was off limits. I was very pleased with the openness of the group and the willingness to share such personal stories and how they related to the book. I was surprised at the impressive insight of each member; even the youngest (5 years old) had something to say! Most of the adults said that their children became so emotionally invested when reading the book as a family that that alone was a rewarding experience. One Journeymaker in particular stressed the importance of one of the book’s main themes: listening.
“Everyone is different and has a story to tell, and we should be quiet and listen. You’ll learn more about people and increase your relationships and the depth of those relationships if you just listen to others.”
However, listening isn’t the only important theme in this book. When asked what major themes stood out to them, the other Journeymakers added family, honesty to one’s self, compassion, redemption, and self sacrifice to the list.
I have read the book numerous times, and what was so remarkable was that everyone made his or her own discoveries throughout the story. One finding came from a gentleman in the group. He said, “[Edward] is a fragile bunny, and he has all of these amazing things happen to him. He falls in the ocean, is crushed by garbage, dragged around by a hobo, thrown off a train, and yet, he doesn’t break until he says, ‘I am broken’. All these things are happening to him. The circumstances don’t overwhelm him to the point of breaking until he decided he wasn’t enough. It was the revelation that he was enough and that the relationships he had were important. There are always going to be different circumstances in life, both good and bad, but the choice in how you handle it is what defines you.”
When asked what lessons they learned from Edward Tulane, one child said, “What I wear doesn’t really matter, how I look doesn’t really matter. What I am inside is what matters.” Another child concluded, “Love conquers all. Sometimes, you think you don’t need love, and sometimes love destroys you, but ultimately, love brings you back home.”
The most important lesson I learned from THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, and the dialogue with this remarkable group is that, in life, we don’t always get a second chance. It’s important for all of us to stop, even for a moment, and really listen to each other and look at the world around us. Enjoy a play with your family or a good meal with your friends and just appreciate what life has to offer. Put the screens down, even for a moment, have a conversation with each other and just listen. Life is truly a miraculous journey and those we share it with are irreplaceable.
THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE runs at DCT March 18 – April 10. Watch for more information on the story, and in the meantime we encourage you to read the book. Its stunning, award-winning illustrations will bring the story to life almost as well as our live production. Check it out at your local library or find it on sale at the DCT store.
Recommended for ages 7 and up
Tickets and more show information @ www.dct.org