Write About it Wednesday: The Fountain of Youth

“Why, heck, Winnie, life’s to enjoy yourself isn’t it? What else is it good for? That’s what I say.”

I began my research of the Fountain of Youth before reading Tuck Everlasting. This well-known classic has been on my reading list for quite some time and I was lucky enough to share it with my students. The idea of eternal youth is an interesting concept. The perspective of a teenager compared to my now adult (do I have to admit it?) opinion varies greatly on the subject.

The Fountain of Youth holds the key to staying young forever. If you drink or bathe in the waters, youth will be restored. Many believe that Ponce de Leon went in search of the fountain in present day Florida, but the accounts of his travel do not support this claim. The tale continues to live on, but I think it’s the adventure of finding it that actually appeals to readers. There are countless articles and documentaries of people searching for the fountain. What do you think would happen if these magical waters were found today? 

Tuck Everlasting is a tale of young love and adventure. Winnie is desperate to live life outside the confines of her mother. She decides to go into the woods by her house and discovers Jess, a member of the Tuck family, drinking from a spring. The spring provides immortality to all those that consume it, but Winnie wishes to drink from it without knowing the consequences. The Tucks fear that she will either drink the water or tell others about the spring so they kidnap her. Winnie is scared at first, but after spending time with the family she grows to love and care for them. She is given the choice to drink from the spring, but I won’t reveal the ending! It made me question if I would drink from the fountain if given the choice. Life is so short, and there is so much to do and see. If tempted, would I have the courage to decide?

I think aging is such a natural process. I can’t imagine being suspended in time. My students think youth is the greatest asset for a person. Anything can be possible if you are young. I would argue that wisdom and experience make for a greater asset. I think after several years I would grow weary of the constant change surrounding me while I remain in a state of agelessness. I already grow cynical with the state of the world. If given the choice, I would have to choose to live life to the fullest with the knowledge that it would end one day. What’s that old saying? We must make the most of it while we are here.

Would you drink from the fountain? Let me know if you have read Tuck Everlasting, or have any opinions on eternal youth! 

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