Unlike what appears to be the case in the Earth realm, we can't do without magic or let magic lapse, forgotten and unused. Almost everything in Equestria depends on pony magic to function properly. Right at the top of the list is keeping the day and night cycle on time. Then there's the seasons, the weather, managing the fauna and getting the plants to grow. All of it requires magical intervention from ponies. Mostly from specialists, but all ponies are magical and all ponies help in some way. Sure the animals are bright enough to share ideas and feelings with ponies (or at least with Fluttershy, I don't speak 'squirrel') but they require a helping hoof to plan far enough ahead to build their own nests, migrate or find food in the spring. It has always been thus, it's how things work in Equestria. Except in the Everfree forest, where it is always gloomy and nothing is run by ponies.
It's strange that the ancient Tree of Harmony exists in the middle of the Everfree. Such a strange and powerful tree, made of rock and gems, leafless, existing in a grotto and somehow responsive to our needs. Perhaps it is shaping the Everfree and its inhabitants. It is so powerful, it may even shape or have shaped all of Equestria. Which came first, ponies or the Tree? Perhaps the tree is the manifestation of the combined will and magic of the ponies of Equestria? No that wouldn't fit, Tirek had consumed the entire sum of the magic of all the ponies and we easily defeated him with magic afforded us by the Tree.
We find it spooky when things happen on their own, like there are ghosts in the machine. It's very reassuring to know that clouds stay where you put them and that if they move, it's because a pony pushed them. There would be so much chaos if everything just did as it pleased! There would be floods and droughts! Bunnies would eat everything! Like when Discord broke free that first time and took over Equestria. I think Discord would feel right at home on Earth. How do Earth denizens remain sane? I think I'm beginning to see why this E-Athenaeum is such a jumble. It's Discorded!