Wordsworth at 28 (when he seems to have felt very old, having no idea that he would live to be 80) pulled himself out of an emotional crisis with the thought that "nature never did betray the heart that loved her." Considering some of the things that nature does (fading sight and hearing, the inconvenient effects of gravity, among others), it's hard not to find friend William a tad naive (as he noted a few years later when his favorite brother drowned in a storm). But today was a day of unexpected grace and beauty.
Given the dryness of most of the summer, I've not been expecting much in the way of fall color. (And yes, in our part of the world, we have recently had so many rainy days that some some of us were starting to forget what sun looks like, but rain the first week of October doesn't make up for months of drought.) Some of the trees in our neighborhood have been turning plain old brown, skipping everything that usually separates green leaves from brown ones. After driving across Ohio this morning, I am pleased to report that many of the states' trees are managing to put on their usual autumn show.
It started with a little yellow along I-77, then some red--sumac, maybe? Skirting the edge of Amish country on Route 250, my hopes began to rise as a dogwood or two displayed their usual glorious burgundy. By the time I was headed west on US 30, fall was in full fling. The skies opened out as I left the hill country, pure blue, and there were the trees--maples, sassafrass, and something in clear, singing yellow. (I don't identify leaves well at 65 miles an hour.) Few things are more beautiful than a blue sky reflected in the clear blue of a farm pond, but one of them is the doubled sight of sugar maples strutting their stuff in this, their show-off season. Perhaps this is the kind of sight that led Wordsworth to describe his "cheerful faith, that all that we behold is full of blessings."