The cement circle sizzled with each raindrop splashing by the firepit.
Why the hell did it always have to rain on our camping trips?
Whenever my Girl Scout troop trekked to places where tents and fires were the norm, the weather of our home loomed over us like a damp shadow.
Even on our white-water rafting trip in Oregon during July, where a fire across the river threatened our spot for one of the nights, giant raindrops had pelted us.
Our leaders joked that we were cursed. And sometimes, it seemed they were right.
I sat by the fire, its heat and smoke touching my face and hands as I stared into it, curious about the secrets the crackling wood carried.
Big drops of water from the conifer trees splattered onto my berry-colored, water-resistant coat, its matching hoodie beneath.
At least the living green tarp shielded the flames from the downpour, so I wasn’t chilled to the bone.
Most of the other girls huddled in their tents, chatting about whatever, playing card games, or napping. But I didn’t like staying in those tiny pink tents longer than the hours I slept.
I wasn’t claustrophobic by any means, but I had practically grown up in those tents and had now grown out of them, as had some of the other teenage scouts.
And when three of us adolescents were stuffed inside them, it became overwhelming.
The leaders were gathered underneath the gray canopy where our cooking supplies resided, trying to formulate some fun activities for us to do in the lousy weather.
Glancing up, I spotted dew-laced spider webs accenting the green canopy of the forest. Somehow, despite the stormy clouds, the webs sparkled in the light.
As long as their eight-legged creators didn’t disturb me, I would enjoy the beauty of everything, the rain not stopping anytime soon.
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Originally published at https://vocal.media.