A little over two years ago, I visited Ponce de Leon Springs State Park with some friends. It was September, and the water was cold enough to keep most out of it, 68 degrees year-round. Some brave souls waded in the shallow waters.

I dove headfirst off a rock into the deep.

It was a time in my life of great upcoming transition, a time in which I needed to dig deep to find the courage I needed to commit to life changes. When my whole body was instantaneously submerged in the frigid, crystal-clear waters, I felt the freedom, the emergence into a new life, the farewell to the old me.

I needed this. This fountain of youth.

I did not wish to become younger. I wished to live longer. I wished to add back the years of my life I may have lost from the disease of stress. I was ready to start fresh, though some residue cannot be fully washed off, washed away.

Today, other days, I remember that day. That rebirth. I made that dive with purpose, with full faith, full humility, full submissiveness to my higher power. It was a pact with nature, my oldest comrade, the universe, benevolent despite my seemingly unfair shake.

I am a photographer, but I did not take pictures of the deep spring. I did not think to have my friends capture my moment. I did not need equipment to capture it. I knew the moment would remain in my spirit always, as clear and natural as the water.

I did capture two things with my lens that day, I realize as I scroll through my pictures. I will let them speak for themselves; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sometimes, though, a non-picture is worth so much more…


Version 2

Prose 10/21/19. Images 9/24/17. ©Laura Denise

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