I still remember when it became my favorite color. Before then, I had been living a life full of dull greys and browns. I think I was told those were the colors that suited my skin tone best.
But then spring came.
It didn’t happen right away. When I stepped out of the plane, I set foot onto the runway and right into a puddle and a steady downpour. It was dark outside, about 7:00PM, and I had to walk with my head down the rest of that evening.
And then morning came.
Everywhere I looked, it was green. I cracked my window- there was a coconut tree. Outside of my door were trees, vines, and flowers. I walked a little further. There was a giant tree outside my apartment bearing a large fruit I never even knew existed. It was called jackfruit. I stepped onto the street. There were trees, there were flowers, there was life, and I swear the sky was a different shade of blue than I’d ever known before. It was all so beautiful. Why was it all so foreign?
We left the city whenever we got the chance. It was mind-blowing. This was constant spring, unending life, my own rebirth. I was in love with the color green.
Before then, I didn’t care much about recycling. I didn’t care about smog, pollution, or harmful emissions. They were the cost of progress, the side effects of freedom and choice. Earth Day was for ultra-leftist tree huggers and the politicians who pulled their all-natural hemp strings. Captain Planet? Propaganda in the form of a cute Saturday morning cartoon show.
I looked around. Who wouldn’t love the color green? Who would ever want to replace it with grey? Who would dare trade an image of birth and life for the mockery of death and decay?
I stepped into the ocean, all the way to my chest, and looked down. I could see my feet. It was all so beautiful. And I knew it was more than just a political cause. A part of me – one of the bad parts – died in an instant and was buried in the soil of the Philippines that day. Why did it take twenty-five years?
Climate change? I don’t know. But look around and tell me you don’t see a world that is beautiful and well worth taking care of.