The rain has stopped.

The afternoon sun slants through the pine trees: and how those useless needles smell in the clean air!

A dandelion, long out of season, has pushed itself into bloom between the smashed leaves of last summer’s day lilies.

The valley resounds with totally uninformative talk of creeks and wild water.

Then the quails begin their sweet whistling in the wet bushes.

Their noise is absolutely useless, and so is the delight I take in it.

There is nothing I would rather hear, not because it is a better noise than other noises, but because it is the voice of the present moment, the present festival.

(Thomas Merton - "When the Trees Say Nothing")