I saw this quote from Dickens' Great Expectations. I had to read it several times to get the meaning. It's appropriate for this season.
"Pause you," Pip says, "and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." (from Dickens, as quoted by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times)