After the storm. Again, we are humbled. Trees down. Wires down. All our brilliant electronic devices \u2014 they think, they talk, they do math \u2014 are rendered mute and dumb. Nature once again reminds the clever humans who are her most ambitious and unruly offspring that they don\u2019t exactly run the whole show \u2014 not yet. There is also the pandemic, the disease COVID-19 produced by the novel coronavirus, sweeping across the globe, bringing economies, nations, continents to a standstill. It makes people sick and takes lives. We live masked, huddle at home, in fear. It is tempting in such times to ascribe some intent to what seem slap-downs by Mother Nature. Seems like she\u2019s trying to put piddling arrogant humanity in its place, remind these upstarts with their cars and computers and rocket ships just who has been around for eons, who was here long before \u2014 and after \u2014 the mighty dinosaurs. Are eons countable? Not really. Not by humans with our short times to breath, think, grow and die. But in all likelihood the slap-down scenario is an over-reading of reality, lending a little too much human personality and motivation to forces which do not, like most of the rest of us, predictably act like three-year-olds. Personification is fun, and it can be helpful for framing things, but don\u2019t put too much faith in it. Might as well be Roman augurs, reading the future from the flights of birds. No, Mother Nature is not sending us some coded message written in downed wires and mounting virus cases. Mom is just being her old unruly self, brewing up savage storms and breeding hideous viruses while also casually providing us with warm summer weather and lovely starlight nights, green growing trees and blossoming gardens, sunlight and water and food to eat \u2014 little reminders that the hand that slaps also caresses. She who laughs also feeds us. We might want to remember all this. Let Nature\u2019s awesome powers and, ultimately, nurturing role inform our long term discussions and decisions on issues like pollution, environmental degradation and, yes, climate change. We would be wise to treat Mother Nature with great respect, whether she is scolding us or just flailing around because she can. And in the short run, we\u2019ll keep working on a vaccine for that nasty virus. And we\u2019ll get out the chain saws.