I discovered my favorite color when I was four years old.
During summer break from school, my grandmother would set up a table for me in our small dining room in front of two windows. The golden sunlight would seep through lace curtains and onto my child-sized linoleum table adorned with clumps of red flowers printed on its cream surface framed by aluminum that matched its folding legs.
Each day, she’d usher me into a red chair parked at the table set with my 3 pm snack, crayons, and coloring book. It was at this table during one of these lazy summer days that I discovered my favorite color. After setting down the blue crayon, which I’d used to color the sky in a drawing of a forest, I picked up the green one for the trees. I then held up the crayon to my eyes and felt a sense of peace.
“This is my favorite color,” I announced out loud to make it official.
My best friend Donna frequently told me blue was her color as if she were claiming it as her own and I couldn’t have it. But blue never did anything for me. I didn’t understand what she saw in that color. It was pretty to look at, but green, well, that made my soul feel good.
Green represented happy holidays like Christmas. Green was the soft grass that tickled my bare feet as I ran past the sprinkler. Green was a forest with winding paths leading to hidden worlds, cool shade on hot days, birds conversing in their secret language, and animals scurrying home.
Green was new, vibrant life.
After that day—for forty years—whenever someone asked me about my favorite color, I’d say with the same certainty I’d had as a child: “My favorite color is green.”