Pastor's wife: Fountain of youth? 'I wouldn't drink it if I could'


My beloved and I recently had the opportunity to explore St. Augustine for a few hours, knowing it was the place Ponce de Leon reportedly discovered the Fountain of Youth.

We found it. The park, that is, and did the thing you do: took a selfie at the entrance. I texted friends that I had found the Fountain of Youth and was bringing some back to all of them. One said to get a gallon.

Upon entering the park, we found that we could pay $21.00 (Senior discount) per person to view Ponce de Leon’s statue and see some other cool things. We considered it for a minute, then opted to go to the gift shop. We knew that it wasn’t the real TRUE Fountain of Youth, after all. Plus, my great-uncle’s name is John Ponce de Leon, so there’s that.

On the way out of the park, I pondered the whole Fountain of Youth thing. As humans, even Christ-following humans, we sometimes chase being youthful, being young. As my beloved says from the pulpit, “We nip, tuck, suck, and pluck our bodies trying to turn back time.” Our congregation always laughs but we secretly know it’s true.

Growing older can be fun but also difficult at times.

For a woman, the wrinkles and gray hair come at a cost. Literally and figuratively. There are more kinds of wrinkle cream than you can count. I have a carefully chosen balm for “crow’s feet” - the little wrinkles around the eyes - and also use it on my neck.

I like to think that wrinkles around my eyes were earned; I’ve done a whole lotta laughing in my days. The wrinkles on my neck are due to gravity. It just happens. (I have considered using some well-placed strips of duct tape to fight against it.)

Early in adult life, women must decide about their hair: to color or not to color to look younger. It’s more of a commitment than marriage when you choose to enhance the shade of your locks. Years, money, and products are invested in the perfect natural looking hair color. While I love and celebrate when others color, I just couldn’t do it because I knew I couldn’t keep it up. Plus, I’m wiggly and probably couldn’t have been still during the process. When you choose not to color, though, you can hear criticism from others.

My foundation makeup is called “age rewind.” It’s supposed to make me look younger, but apparently only by a year. I still look a solid 60.

Something I’ve been working on recently is my “resting face,” because I don’t want to appear to be frowning or cross. Who knew it was necessary?

Naturally, Scripture shares about growing older. Isaiah 46:4 is a favorite: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you…” Proverbs 16:31 shares: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor…” David wrote that our life is “a breath, a fleeting shadow” in Psalm 144:4.

I thought on this “breath” of life as my beloved and I headed north. We’ve been married 43 ½ years. I have made lots of mistakes and learned many hard lessons. But God has been so gracious, so kind, and so faithful to me, to us. I am very thankful I am where I am and the age I am. I’m not looking back, but pressing on like Paul said to in Philippians 3:13-14.

I don’t need Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, thank you very much. I wouldn’t drink it even if I could!


Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at