musings, time lost and found

The Fountain of Youth

There are many points of personal pain for everyone. Triggers I suppose. It’s never possible to speak for anyone else although many, maybe most of have tried at some point because…for me…I read and listen in order to feel outside myself, to feel beyond what’s happened to me and so there’s that desire to translate for someone else that relief that comes when what’s beyond surpasses what resides within.

There was something I needed to do for many years but I didn’t know what it was until I did it. Twice I experienced losses which left me feeling less than, insufficient as a person and I worked through those losses on paper, in art and in daily living. I kept their ashes nearby, spent time with them and mostly just mourned while trying to find a path toward healing.


The path my life has taken more recently has led to healing in many respects but on this particular front I continued to feel the losses deeply. Losses unlike any others I have experienced and therefore it felt impossible to find peace. And then one day I realized what I wanted to do.

In St. Augustine it’s possible to visit The Fountain of Youth, a site I had never considered visiting because it seemed silly. But I felt certain one morning that this was where I needed to go with the meager ashes I kept safe for so long. Somehow I was certain I would find resolution there. Maybe because St. Augustine had become a very happy and memorable place for me and because symbolically those I’ve lost are eternally young in my memories and my heart. The concept of the fountain of youth is born of loss and so it seemed appropriate to visit and seek peace there.

I didn’t research or have any expectations although tickets were purchased online. My husband and I went together, ashes in tow and we walked around the park. It was wonderfully bizarre. A combination of an Archaeological site, touristy gimmick and park with freely roaming peafowl.


The peafowl were lovely and apart from the class of children on fieldtrip, the park was quiet. It was possible to find peace in the oddest place. Touring the park with ashes in tow created a day of memories whose absence had left me only with memories of loss. It was impossible to move forward when my memories were of ashes and loss. Now there are memories of a sunny day surrounded by peafowl, a few tourists and history. And this angelic peacock desperately displaying to those of us with cameras.


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