News: A Reflection on Nature during Uncertain Times by Taylor Roman

News: A Reflection on Nature during Uncertain Times by Taylor Roman

I’m fortunate that working outside gives me regular opportunities to be overcome by wonder and awe. A necessary part of the feeling of awe for me involves feeling small and insignificant; the feeling of recognizing that there are much greater forces at play in the universe than you can understand, much less control. As always, I have been enjoying spring unfold: birds singing, plants breaking dormancy, the bees beginning their hard labor for the year, etc.

In light of the fear instilled by this pandemic, I have been amused to see the rest of nature be completely unperturbed by the whole situation. Spring progresses unhindered, as it always does and as it always will, regardless of our human plight. Empires rise and fall, great and terrible people that shape the world are born and die, but the season’s march on, and the organisms that dutifully live in accordance with the seasons continue with their lives as if nothing was amiss (because nothing is amiss). Beyond the realm of human interest, the plight of COVID-19 is nothing special. Just one species finding temporary success in another species’ weakness. It’s an everyday occurrence for life on Earth.

For countless generations, humans have used their reasoning to distinguish themselves from everything around them. We have defined “nature”, and thereby tried to put it in a box so that we might more easily distinguish ourselves apart from, and above, it. But this is a frail illusion. In the end, we are just another species. We struggle for health and resources as all other organisms do, in a dynamic dance that never ends (whether we think we are dancing or not).

This pandemic will come and go, and Nature will continue unhindered. We will continue too, because we are Nature (intrinsically and completely), and we carry in us the indomitable spirit of life that will do whatever it must to endure. Hopefully, if nothing else, we can recognize this, and the next pandemic will not affect us so drastically. Hopefully, we can all take time to refocus on the unbreakable ties that bind us to everything else on this planet and adjust our tempo to better match the great, awe-inspiring dance of life on Earth.



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