Martin Wittfooth painting

The Bradford pear in our back yard has sprouted its winter berries. As I sat drinking my coffee this morning, I watched a pair of red-breasted robins fight over it. They were both driven away by a monster of a male who now has more berries than he could possibly eat. He’s not touched a single one. He’s too busy watching grimly from the slim branch near the top that bows under his weight.

That’s how much of the world is, it seems. Some people find a justification in Nature, which is so ignorant as to be backwards. Nature seeks no justifications. When the elder hatchlings in a nest peck their younger siblings to death, Nature doesn’t care. When the wolves take the lame fawn over the able, Nature doesn’t care. When the gluttonous python is split by its own meal and dies, Nature doesn’t care. When a wildfire or hurricane destroys homes and lives, Nature doesn’t care.

Nature doesn’t care. People care. What Nature does is as relevant to what is right and good as how a rock falls, or the number of raindrops in the ocean. It may even be possible to judge ourselves by how far we are from her.

cover image by Martin Wittfooth