by Andre Ross
In book twelve of The Prelude, William Wordsworth describes what he calls spots of time. Spots of time are moments of epiphany, which Wordsworth says has “a renovating virtue” (209). These moments are enlightening and are refreshing. They are a sort of rebirth that heals. Wordsworth says that in these moments “our minds / Are nourished and invisibly repaired” (214-15). I myself have been lucky enough to experience a spot of time, and I can honestly say that it is everything that Wordsworth describes and more.
Everyone can agree that middle school is a tough time in a child’s life, and I was no exception. I was tormented in middle school. I felt lost and alone. I was struggling with mental issues along with social issues and bullies. It felt as if my entire world was crashing down. I had hit rock bottom, and I never thought I would return. It wasn’t until we took a class trip to Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee that I experienced my spot of time. The entire trip I tried to keep to myself. As we walked through the underground caverns, I could hear the sound of the waterfall growing closer and closer. Everyone was gathered into groups by the time we reached the waterfall, but I chose to stay by myself, isolated much like Wordsworth in many of his poems. I truly believe that in solitude the mind opens up to the possibilities and surroundings. It was in solitude that I had my spot of time.
When I laid eyes on the waterfall, the sheer beauty and the energy I felt became something spiritual. Wordsworth describes it best when he says it is “A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced, / That penetrates, enables us to mount, / When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen” (216-18). At that moment it was like all my troubles had faded and nothing mattered anymore. There was this strong sense of peace and tranquility. I felt so relaxed and calm. When I left that waterfall, I felt like a whole new person like I had been reborn to a life without all the troubles I had known before.
Wordsworth’s description of spots of time is exactly what I experienced. Wordsworth says that these moments “Are scattered everywhere, taking their date / From our first childhood” (225). I agree that these moments are scattered throughout our own personal history, but these moments only happen are certain moments. They are not common, which makes them so special. Wordsworth describes these moments as nourishing and renovating. When we are at our lowest points, spots of time are the moments that lift us up and sort of cleanse us, bringing us back to a pure childlike state of mind, a rebirth. Spots of times are the moments when we find our true selves when have lost our way.
Wordsworth, William. The Complete Poetical Works. London: Macmillan and Co., 1888; Bartleby.com, 1999. 21 September 2016. Web.