“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Posts tagged ‘discovery’

America

This is the story of the naming of America. Not many people know the true story, and those who do keep it from reaching the wrong ears. I beg of you to consider the safety and welfare of America and her surrounding countries, and not tell the story around terrorists and/or the president.

I will begin by explaining what the word America means. It can be broken up into three parts. The first is A. Of course, we all know what that means. A. As in A Lobster. Or A Hairball. Though neither of those have anything to do with our story. The second is Mer, meaning Soil, or Land. The last part is Rica, the Spanish word for Rich. This form of the word is feminine, which is why I referred to America as a her. The full meaning of the word is A Rich Land. Obviously, she speaks for herself.

The real name-giver of the land was not Amerigo Vespucci, or the mapmaker from Germany, or even that elusive Piero Soderini who received a few letters. No, it goes back so much farther than that.

On a certain stormy night (of course it’s stormy, it’s always stormy in the interesting stories), an old crippled priest walked up the steps of his crumbling church. I don’t know why, he just did, because it’s interesting, in a way. The priest’s name was Aldo. He had had a vision.

Now, back then, visions were always to be taken seriously. If a man had a vision that his cow would die from the chickenpox, he would kill it in order for it to not suffer. Aldo knew that this vision was more important than a cow or any other sort of animal, and that it could change the world. He had seen a new land being formed, a land meant for all kinds and races. It puzzled him, to see Spaniards working alongside the Dutch and the English. Aldo then decided to see for himself if this land was real. Despite his neighbors’ protests that such a land existed, he set sail to reach the ends of the earth.

Then, tragedy struck. Having not thought to bring along a crew, Aldo was quickly outnumbered by the various ropes and nets that hung about the ship. He was swept overboard in a tug-o-war with the mainsail, and lost beneath the waves. For a time.

Some say it was mermaids, or dolphins. Whatever the truth, all we know is that he made it safely to shore, and, seeing the wondrous land before him, he exclaimed, “Oh, see the beautiful plants! How rich the soil must be for the trees to bear such fruit!”

The name came to him then and there. Knowing in the deep depths of his failing heart that this was the very place his vision spoke of, he used words from different languages and combined them, saying, “It is fitting for the country of many to have a name from many countries.”

So he called it America. And  it was a land that was meant to be discovered many times over before it was finally inhabited by “civilized” people. America it was named, and America it shall stay. Thank you, Aldo.

 

 

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