Tuesday, July 28, 2009

OLD WIVES TALES Fountain of Youth

The legend of the Fountain of Youth is far older than many of us can comprehend dating back to the time Marco Polo. However, no one really searched for the Fountain of Youth, they only dreamed of this miraculous spring from which flowed the water of healing and eternal youth.

One man did search for the Fountain of Youth and his name was Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon was born around 1474 in San Tervas de Campos, Spain. There is no other record of him except that many referred to him as “the poor knight.”

During his childhood he trained himself in the arts of war and survival who knows the reasons why, maybe he knew in advance that he would be one of the most famous Conquistadors of Spain.

When Christopher Columbus headed on his second voyage to the Americas in 1493, Ponce de Leon was among the crew. He then settled on a Caribbean island named Hispaniola. Ponce de Leon was in search of wealth, power, and glory and had trained for these explorations since he was a young boy. While living on Hispaniola he became Hispaniola’s Military Commander and Deputy Governor. At the age of 28, in 1506, he found another island near by named Boringuin, which is now Puerto Rico. In 1508, Ponce de Leon became Governor of the Spanish Colony. None of this satisfied his desire for power and wealth so he went to the king and convinced him to give him enough men and ships to search for the “Fountain of Youth.” Where he heard about the infamous fountain is the center of much controversy, as some believe he heard rumors from natives while others realize the legend was around during Greek and Roman times.

No matter, where he heard the about the Fountain of Youth, he and his crew set out for the mainland of what is now Florida in 1513. In his quest for the Fountain of Youth, he was the first European to set foot on “Pascua de Florida” which translates into feast of flowers, which is the name of a Spanish Easter holiday, which is the day in which he and his crews landed on here.

Ponce de Leon searched the Florida coast and many of the interior parts between 1513 and 1521 for the Fountain of Youth. He in famous for founding the city of St. Augustine, Florida, however, he never located the miraculous spring. If there is a Fountain of Youth somewhere in Florida, it is still hidden from humanity.

If you find it, let me know, I have some years I would like to roll off.


No comments: