'Fundamental structures'

  "Cairn in Snow,'' by Caspar David Friedrich.

"Cairn in Snow,'' by Caspar David Friedrich.

“After the winds and storms of autumn have lashed the trees to penitence, there sometimes comes a large-flaked and otherwise inconsequential snow which gives to the trees and their landscape the sequel gift of innocence. It was in such a landscape, on the morning of such a fall, that we began having our thoughts about the end of one year and the beginning of another. The snow seemed helpful, in that it blotted out the bright surface shapes of specific recollection in favor of the more enduring and powerfully molded impressions of fundamental structures and meanings.’’ 

--The late Alan H. Olmstead, a Connecticut essayist and editor, from his book In Praise of Seasons.