Goethe once said that during eighty years of life he had known eleven happy days. I imagine that everyone, in the course of their life, must have seen many hundreds of sunrises and sunsets; they must have seen rain, rainbows, lakes, seas, and meadows. But of these hundreds of scenes only two or three enter a person’s soul with a miraculous power and become for them what those eleven happy days were for Goethe.
One person may never forget a little cloud lit by a quiet sunset, even though he entirely forgets hundreds of more splendid sunsets. Someone else will never forget a moment of summer rain or a young moon reflected in the pockmarked surface of a forest stream in April.
For a particular scene to enter into a person and become part of their soul, it is evidently not enough that the scene be beautiful. The person also has to have something clear and beautiful present inside them. It is like a moment of shared love, of communion, of true meeting between a human being and the outer world.
– from An Armenian Sketchbook