Victim-Nature lays bare, exposed by the dozer of the strip miner; chokes on the fading coral ocean gardens blanched by toxic chemicals; mourns the extinction of exotic species as sustainable habitats are burned and raked over.
The late Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, writes, "How can we teach our children about creation and creator where there are only man-mad streets about?" (In my private mental-health practice, a proactive intervention I regularly prescribe for troubled youth was unstructured time outdoors in nature. As a clinician at a facility for troubled teens in a large, economically disadvantaged city, a weekly mental-health group activity I structured was to go to the city parks and clean the trash. (They probably learned more socialization, survival skills, and civic responsibility from that activity than from sitting in a small room for group therapy the whole rest of the week!)
Nature demonstrates both strength and abundance.
In July of 2014, typhoon Glenda took aim at our Philippine jungle home. Taking lives and destroying many people's homes, the typhoon mercifully spared our family and left our residence without severe damage. What was destroyed were the grounds we took so much pride in: orchids which we carefully tended, exotic ornamental plants, and rare fruit trees from around the tropics that took years to finally bear fruit.
It did not take long for the jungle to reclaim the damage. I spent countless hours sitting on the veranda and marveling. Various species of insects reappeared, whose wings have been modified with large eye spots or bodies with artificial armor to scare off larger predators. Smaller insects whose body color exactly mimic the specific host plant on which they alight. Large leaves or tiny ones designed to either capture rain, drain water, or siphon it to areas of need. Copy-cat flowers mirroring each other in a variety of color or design. Successive generations of life forms experiment with slight differences to capture whatever evolutionary advantage may present itself. The jungle replaces what the typhoon swept away.
The net result of this cacophony of adaptive evolutionary process is that life unstoppably creeps forward. Better defenses, more effective predation, subtle changes of shape and color (the most attractive or useful of which we choose for our own specializations) diversify the opportunities (and dangers) in the natural process.