Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.
In Anitiquity every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit. These spirits were accessible to men; centaurs, fauns, and mermaids show their ambivalence. Before one cut a tree, mined a mountain, or dammed a brook, it was important to placate the spirit in charge of that particular situation, and to keep it placated. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.
Lynn White, Jr.
From Barkskins by Annie Proulx