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Nature Doesn't Care

I love it when people (me included) talk about Nature as though it owes us something; like it’s supposed to abide with pleasant breezes and beautiful temperatures when we have an outdoor activity planned. Or that it’s supposed to obey and give us everything we need when we destroy a forest for the sake of “progress.”


How often have we heard (or said) something like the following, “Was it supposed to rain today?” Or “It’s not supposed to be this cool in August!” Or “How did that terrible avalanche occur?”


The answer: it’s Nature, and it does what it does because by definition, it’s always doing what it’s “supposed” to do. And it doesn’t care about us because that’s not what Nature is.


It simply adjusts to what it’s been given, every second of every day. So, if it rains, it’s supposed to rain (according to Nature). If there’s a snowstorm or an earthquake, it was conditions made it so (because … Nature). If something happens in the sky (an eclipse, Aurora Borealis, etc.), Nature isn’t asking us if, when, or how we want to experience such an event. It just does its thing.


Likewise, Nature doesn’t categorize events like floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes or earthquake as “disasters”; that’s a term we use because these things cause problems for us, sometimes catastrophic ones.


But Nature is always doing what’s necessary based on the conditions of the planet at any given moment; always correcting based on what we do to it or throw at it; whether that’s a cool, comfortable breeze or a forest fire, all to keep a level of balance (maybe and often a balance that makes us uncomfortable).


And every act of Nature is telling us something. Sometimes that something is simply a whisper: that it’s always watching and reacting to little shifts in conditions. Sometimes, it’s yelling at us, like when we suffer its wrath. But to be clear, “wrath" is not an appropriate term because Nature doesn’t act out of anger or vengeance. It just reacts, without concern for what we want or need. It doesn’t care what or who is in its path.


The question is, are we listening when Nature talks to us? So far (or at least in recent decades), it seems our listening skills have proven suspect at best. But given the strong and frequent signs Nature’s been sending, I wonder when we’ll truly start to perk up act accordingly.


It’s talked about every day. Organizations and companies around the world are working on being more energy efficient and reducing things like greenhouses gases and their use of materials that are harmful to us and the planet. But what about us, the everyday folks? Are we really listening to what Nature is telling us? And if we’re listening, are we acting accordingly? And if and when we act, will it be enough? Or soon enough?


The simple truth is that Nature doesn’t care if we’re here or not. Nature doesn’t care if the world is covered in ice, water, trees or desert. Nature doesn’t care if the dinosaurs come back, if or where earthquakes, eruptions or giant sinkholes and mudslides occur.


Nature just acts and reacts; to what its inhabitants are doing … and doing to it.


To humans, Nature is powerful and beautiful and violent and unforgiving. It’s rainbows and tornados, beautiful blankets of snow and tsunamis. Soft spring rains and violent winds. But really, it’s none of that. It’s just Nature, taking what we dish out and giving back messages. And though it might wrong us, it’s never wrong. It’s just … Nature.


Think what you want about climate change, and its impact on our lives. Maybe you believe, maybe you don’t. But the climate is always changing because Nature is always reacting to what we’re giving it: the good, the bad and the ugly.


And it doesn’t care if we are ruining the environment (as we know it) for ourselves or future generations. It’s up to us to do the caring.


© 2024 David R. Haznaw





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