The Bells of San Blas toll no more

(This post belongs to a series, "Crossing Borders"- Family Road Trip Costa Rica. View the photo gallery for this post.)

What say the Bells of San Blas? were the words penned Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he lay on his death bed.

He wrote of a place he had never visited, a formerly illustrious church and port in San Blas Mexico, that now lay dilapidated.

To the ships that southward pass
From the harbor of Mazatlan?
To them it is nothing more
Than the sound of surf on the shore,—

The silent bells of San Blas signify an era that has past.

They are a voice of the Past,
Of an age that is fading fast,
Of a power austere and grand;

Where once the bells were proud, and rang out their song for all to hear, they now 'mould and rust.'

That age has ended. A new day has dawned.

One sound to all, yet each
Lends a meaning to their speech,
And the meaning is manifold.

It's an era 'lifestyle design', 'location independence', and of non-conformity, not for the sake of being different just to be different.

But in recognition that each individual is unique, and marches to the tune of their own drummer.

No longer do we all hear the same song and march in the same path. We live in a world where as individuals we make our own rules, and define our own life course.

In the past, the bells tolled "go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work til your sixty-five."

The bells chimed "settle down, get a 30 year mortgage, stay in one place to raise your family."

The bells have pealed "family OR travel", "career OR contribution", "money OR fulfillment"

This era shines a light on the convergence of formerly contradictory values.

But to me, a dreamer of dreams,
To whom what is and what seems
Are often one and the same,—

Today people all over discover family AND travel, contribution as a career, and wealth as a result of doing what they love (their personal 'art').

This generation is learning to take their dreams very, very seriously.

"Is, then, the old faith dead,"
They say, "and in its stead
Is some new faith proclaimed

The new faith to be adopted belongs in a world which always grows smaller.
"Our future rests upon embracing a vision of a single world in which we are all connected."Travel creates those connections. It opens our hearts, expands our minds and is "fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."

"Oh, bring us back once more
The vanished days of yore,

Some fight this epoch age, uncertain and afraid, they long for days gone by.

There comfortable with the 'known', cozy with the 'familiar' and 'the way things have always been'.

They're afraid of the changes taking place, and uncertain of where they stand.

But their longing is in vain. This is an idea whose time has come.

O Bells of San Blas, in vain
Ye call back the Past again!
The Past is deaf to your prayer;
Out of the shadows of night
The world rolls into light;
It is daybreak everywhere.

Where do you stand?

Do you long for the past, or will you embrace a new age, be a dreamer of dreams, create your own rules and live the life YOU were meant to live?




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