(N.B. I have zero idea from where this topic arises. The title/topic was on the page before I had time to consider it, and I decided to give it a shot.)
Defining or attempting to explain nature is a personal task; I believe it would have to be personal to anyone who attempted such definition or explanation. As a corollary of that fact, this post may seem completely off-base to some. Each of us is responsible for, and reactive to, our own versions of nature.
I love the physical nature of this planet: water, air, the ground, food, cows, snakes, volcanoes, the mumps, earthquakes, diabetes, sunlight’s warmth, and snow’s cold. And so much more. I have noticed in the last year that the world around me, the part of it I see when I look away from myself, is breathtakingly beautiful; storms and sunny days and drought, seasons as they pass, my neighbor’s sore knee, love, anger; and every other quality I see in the world.
I believe that we humans are part of nature, not separate from it, as we so often assume. I think that the products of humans, everything we’ve ever touched and changed, are also part of nature. For me, any other approach is like recognizing the bird and disregarding the nest. We humans, though, seem to have lost our natural balance — the order we see in the way ants build an anthill, or the way the skunk smells to keep predators away. Nature which is not us works in balance.
If, as I think we have, we affect the world in a way which is harmful, we, and the way we act, and the products of the way we act, are still nature, but nature not sustainable. The earth has survived countless instances of being out of balance; the difference may be that we know what we are doing, and we’re still pushing our creations in the direction of disarray. If other animals in nature do this, they either correct themselves, or the world recovers by removing that animal from its nature.
Earth is resilient; when the lopsided species, or situation, is eliminated, our planet will quickly return to health. To me, we humans are lopsided in the way we exist as a part of nature. In a fundamentally ordered world, we must convince ourselves to rebalance the way we fit with the rest of nature, or our planet may decide that we just can’t be allowed to stay.