I can recall my heart leaping when we drove through an area of the Scottish borders where I had spent a year as a teenager. That visitation was unplanned and quite unexpected, our route had been determined by the morning traffic in Edinburgh. Wordsworth came to his old haunts, distressed with a burden of sad anticipation. But he like me, was surprised by joy.
It had not been the happiest year of my life but it was in the beautiful Tweed Valley, beauty that resonated with my adult self decades later, all unexpectedly. A moment to be grateful for. Now here’s Wordsworth.
“Beloved Vale!” I said, “when I shall con
Those many records of my childish years,
Remembrance of myself and of my peers
Will press me down: to think of what is gone
Will be an awful thought, if life have one.”
But, when into the Vale I came, no fears
Distress’d me; I look’d round, I shed no tears;
Deep thought, or awful vision, I had none.
By thousand petty fancies I was cross’d,
To see the Trees, which I had thought so tall,
Mere dwarfs; the Brooks so narrow, Fields so small.
A Juggler’s Balls old Time about him toss’d;
I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed; and all
The weight of sadness was in wonder lost.
From “Poems in Two Volumes, Volume 1” by William Wordsworth)