Daddoo stared at the almost barren land which lay right in front of her eyes. With the exception of a few plants scattered here and there, providing much-needed relief to her tired eyes, the sight which lay before her did nothing but fill her heart with dread.
She could imagine what the world would like in the timespan of a few years- a desolate, apocalyptic wasteland which would not be inhabited by any living organisms, except for maybe giant insects like cockroaches (at least that was the message which television communicated to her). Her body shuddered at the very thought of it.
She remembered how this piece of land was once a beautiful forest that was home to a wide variety of both flora and fauna. She would love to enter this forest and spend as much time as she could in nature's loving cradle. She would walk under the protective cover of the forest canopy formed by the gigantic trees. She would pluck the most attractive of flowers from a variety of different plants, making sure that she only plucked a few and didn't cause these beautiful beings too much pain. From time to time, she would lie down on one of the many large rocks found inside of the forest and just gaze at her surroundings, silently observing even the slightest of movements. She would catch glimpses of deer, rabbits, foxes and other creatures bounding about her. She would watch as a variety of birds with the most vivid colors imaginable took flight. She would even carefully observe the insects on the ground as they went about their daily routine. She would devour every single spectacle with her eyes.
Her fellow villagers would say that she was addicted to the forest. She, being the respectful girl she was, would kindly decline any such claims. For her, visiting the forest wasn't an addiction; no, addiction is negative. For her, visiting the forest was meditation; it relaxed her, calmed her down, provided her with a break from the mundane reality of her life as she was transported to a different world.
A tear escaped her eye as she revisited these memories of hers. Those were truly precious moments. She now looked at the land once again. It had been cleared to build a factory. She sighed.
How could something which was once so beautiful become so ugly? Had her kind really done this; were they really the ones who had destroyed and abused this land which had done nothing but good for all the beings in, on and around it……
Daddoo then heard a voice calling out to her. "Help!" it said. It was faint and weak. Daddoo looked all around her but couldn't see any person standing around.
"It must be my imagination," she thought to herself, after all, what else could it be? She then proceeded to take a few steps forward but was stopped in her tracks when she heard the voice again.
"Help!" it said. It was louder this time.
Daddoo lowered her head to look at the ground more closely. To her surprise, she found a little plant growing on the ground which was right below the sole of her right shoe.
Daddoo quickly removed her right shoe from where it currently lays and apologized profusely to the poor plant. "I am sorry, Little Plant Sir," said Daddoo. "I am so sorry that I didn't notice you at first."
The plant spoke, saying, "At least you noticed me. That is a huge achievement in itself. All the other members of your kind I have come across before didn't even notice me. They just walked over me."
Daddoo was shocked by what she heard. She said, "But how could they? You… you are a sight for sore eyes- a reminder of this land's past beauty and glory."
"Well, I did find their behavior and actions extremely disturbing but thought that they would change their attitude towards us. Sadly, they didn't. They felled down all the trees present here, removed most of the plants, killed, captured or scared away all the animals and didn’t even leave the stones behind, grinding them up for their own use. I was one of the sole survivors and was left wondering as to how could human beings be so inhumane.”
Daddoo was crying at this point. What the plant said had been correct. How could humans be so inhumane? She bent down to touch the plant and said, “Don’t worry. As long as I am here, I will not let anything happen to this beautiful land; no, to this beautiful Earth.
She picked out a couple of seeds from her shirt pocket (she would always carry a few seeds on her person despite the time and place- it made her feel secure). She began to dig a small hole with her bare hands, making sure it was not too deep and well aerated. She put the seeds into the hole and covered them with a thin layer of soil. She then watered them from water present in her bottle which she would always keep on her person (just like the seeds). She then covered the hole entirely and sprinkled some more water on top.
She then gently removed her Little Plant Friend from the soil and carried it home. Providing it with a new home in the form of a pot, she let it enjoy the comfort of warm soil around it.
She would visit the plant she had planted every day and watched it grow. She would water it adequately and spend hours caring for it.
Soon enough, it was as tall as any large tree. It stood out amidst the dry and desolate landscape. It was a symbol of hope, of a better future, of a better life. She would fight with the builders present on the site and make sure they didn’t cut this tree down. Sometimes, she would even spend the night lying right next to it.
Years passed. Daddoo grew up. She became a beautiful, young lady who became the first person from her village to go to college. She learned and she worked; never stopping.
The tree planted by her also grew stronger with each passing day. It stood out, just like Daddoo.
Soon enough, there were many other children from the village who wished to be educated as well. They also wanted to plant their own trees.
And so, time went on and soon enough, that desolate piece of land had become a forest again. It was a sight that was truly beautiful; it was a sight that was truly inspirational.
It filled the heart and soul of anyone who saw it with that one force, with that one feeling, which was the most powerful of all- Hope.