My personal hypothesis, completely unsupported by research, is that the romanticizing of nature comes from dissatisfaction with modernity. I spent a lot of time outdoors. I feel more home there than in the city. I love nature, but I have no illusions whatsoever that it’s soft or kind. Nature is a big picture thinker…the details don’t matter, and WE are just details. To me, if you don’t “get” that, then you’re missing out.
Also, side note: last weekend in Olympic rain forest I was hiking just after a MASSIVE frog hatching near Lake Irely. There were tiny baby frogs everywhere. IT made the hike really slow but also amazing. I’m sure the majority of those little guys got eaten up pretty quick…but some survived…and that about sums it all up, I’d say.