When I returned from Peace Corps service, America was a different place. It was not home any longer not like it was before I left. Friends and family were happy to see me, but I couldn’t relate to them like before. Striking up a conversation was difficult. They talked about movies, clothes, jobs, and money. Absentmindedly, I just stared in amazement at the number of material things around me. Sleeping in a bed was difficult. I hadn’t slept on something soft for years, and I froze when temperatures dropped below 80 degrees. Water fountains. I — loved -water — fountains. Like no one else! The water didn’t need to be boiled, filtered, and cooled overnight. You just pushed a button and drank!

Climate activist, author, and visiting professor at the University of Cincinnati mike-roman.com