Last week we went as a group to....well, lots of places. But my favorite place that we went was Tintern Abbey.
Tintern Abbey is, to gloss over lots of history, this gorgeous twelfth century abbey in Wales that used to be a big deal but then religious tension and political issues and other factors caused it to become abandoned. So now, it's just this huge, beautiful ruin. There's grass where there used to be stone floors. There are flowers growing between cracks in the walls. The juxtaposition is just awesome. It looks like fairies live there or something.
This is the place that inspired William Wordsworth, the famous English Romantic poet, to write his poem "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour." That poem is what inspired me to be an English major.
Seriously, I love it. In "Tintern Abbey", Wordsworth talks about how he visited the abbey when he was young. And he loved it and thought he understood everything that was so great about Tintern Abbey. He felt like he experienced the sublime.
A few years later, he went back to Tintern Abbey and realized that he had no idea what he was talking about the first time around. His life experience had changed him so much that he had a totally different experience hiking at Tintern Abbey the second time. I get the feeling that he lost his naivety.
Then, he's sitting at his desk writing about all of this and realizes how awesome that is. How much he loves being able to reflect back on his experience at Tintern Abbey from his youth. He decides that the change he experienced between his first and second visit to Tintern Abbey wasn't a bad thing. He says,