The sky is spotted with grey, but we don't care; all that matters is comraderie and a sublime sense of getting away from it all. All around, people enjoy the trappings of modern medievalhood: here, a comely lass whose bosom overflows her costume; there, a wiry young man whose turkey leg drips aromatic juices on his blouse.

We dash from booth to booth, from game to drama to joust, making the most of the afternoon. She puts horns on my head and tells me I look cute; I say that my heart is too good wear the devil's headgear. She smirks.

All at once, it seems, the sky opens up, taking us in a moment from dry to drenched. We dash again, from shelter to shelter, hiding from the driving rain and cursing our bad luck. She considers buying a cloak.

Then it hits us.

We exchange a wry glance and dance out into the rain, smiling and reeling and trailing giggles behind like streamers on Chinese New Year. This is why we came here. We are children. We are all of 16 years old and we have been acting sophisticated and grown-up and missing out on the fun of puddle jumping and mud splashing and catching rain on our tongues.

Still, it is late August and the rain is cold and we could both use a bowl of Campbell's soup. But the parking lot is flooded, and as we get into the RV we watch knaves and ladies paddling their compact cars home and giggle some more, still drenched and breathless.

As I look out the window at the forest, something seems different. Everything is simply more green, the ferns and the trees and the ivy alike. I struggle to remember what it is that gives plants their green color, but my inner child knows instantly, innately: rain. I smile, because it is so true and right and obvious. She smiles back; she knows it too.

Rain makes things green.

NB - this is a from-memory rewrite of my college essay, which was lost in a massive hard disk crash some years ago. apparently, it was good, because my grades weren't.

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