chapter 8


I discovered a FOUNTAIN in my YOUTH or more accurately, we discovered each other. It happened on the first day of the first grade of elementary school; the day I met my first-grade teacher, Ms. Effie FOUNTAIN. She was a petite, bright-skinned lady with rosy red cheeks. She was not much taller than the six-year-olds she so lovingly taught and nurtured; a magical elf. She was the FOUNTAIN of MY YOUTH.


This FOUNTAIN gave us not youth, for youth is the one thing, of which, we had plenty. Instead this fountain sprinkled us with the waters of knowledge; knowledge of ABCs and 1,2,3’s. She drenched us in love. She saturated us in kindness, for it is as Washington Irving said, “A kind heart is a FOUNTAIN of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”


This FOUNTAIN of MY YOUTH, showered us with life. She imparted unto us gifts, not unlike the gifts given to Wordsworth by the “Blessing” of his later year:


Was with me when a boy

She gave me eyes, she gave me ears;

And humble care, and delicate fears;

A heart, the FOUNTAIN of sweet tears;

And love, and thought, and joy.

[from, ‘The Sparrow’s Nest’ by William Wordsworth]


From the vantage point of the Crow’s Nest, one can see across time.


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