It may sound like a horror movie: the revenge of the plants. I was speaking to one of my soul sisters yesterday, and she made a comment about how a certain tree non-indigenous to the United States was brought over by some unwitting traveller and how that tree is now taking over. She called it just that…revenge of the plants and went on to express how Nature has had quite enough of self-destructive, thoughtless humans.

I nodded my head in agreement at the time, thinking of the garden here and the constant upkeep required as things grow out of control within weeks, but this morning, contemplating my friend’s fanciful expression in the bathtub, I realized that it didn’t sit so well with me. Nature isn’t vengeful. Nature responds to conditions. It isn’t out to get us. That’s ascribing very low-frequency human characteristics to something Essential and Divine. Only humans have problems with Nature being itself. And only humans would fail to ask their intuition if transporting a tree from one part of the world to another was actually a good idea or not.

Perhaps the Spirit of Nature, anthropomorphised into Mother Nature or some Deva is indeed frustrated, disappointed, and fed up with human weakness. It’s a tale that’s been told not only in horror movies but in folktales from around the world and even butter commercials from the 70’s (“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”). Perhaps there is some truth in the tales. But is every flood, every earthquake, every tornado the revenge of Nature? Or is it all simply a matter of causes and conditions? Maybe it’s both.

If we touch poison ivy, it’s likely we’re not going to have a good day. If we misidentify a poisonous plant, we’re going to feel ill or worse after eating it. If we clear cut a forest, there will be numerous natural consequences. If we build houses in calderas or on beaches, we’re asking for trouble. Do we then turn around when trouble appears and blame Nature for an unfair wrath?

From rain dances to other offerings and appeasement, the human has often gone to great lengths to earn the favor of such nature beings. There is no question that balance is essential to life on earth. But I guess I’d rather hold compassion in my heart for nature and all her woes, especially for that misplaced tree that is replicating itself madly in an attempt to not feel so alone in a strange land. I suppose this is still a projection, just a different one.

As with Nature, the human is also undergoing so much change. Perhaps none of it on any level can be helped; we’re headed where we are headed. One things for sure: balance will be restored one way or the other. It’s not so much revenge. It’s just Life.