And what shall we sing about? Madge asks herself. Why, whatever brute or blackguard, or random chance made the world, was surely a marvelous conjuror, a dab hand at spectacle! What shall we sing about? Fish to eat fresh from the salt sea, sweet berries from the thorn, bread from the brown furrow, and the orient wheat. We shall see every day, if we just raise our eyes to the hills, the movements of wind and water, and the fall of the light. There are never two moments the same, what with sky and weather, and tide, the passage of time, and the random fall of the rain. To be alive is to be bodily present, to notice where and when one is. Here we are: like amateur actors on some magnificent stage, dwarfed by the cosmic grandeur of our setting, muffing our lines, but producing now and then a fitful gleam of our own, an act of mortal beauty.
"What shall we clap?" she says to Peter. "The lifeboat in the storm. What shall we sing? The beauty of the world!"