Our music department takes a five-day-long trip every other spring to an exotic location, and this year it was Disney World. It was late at night - 12:30, maybe. I was outside my third-floor room, leaning against the railing in a manner I hoped was casual and hoping my girlfriend would glance out her window and think about how cool I looked (I didn't look cool).
The sprinklers had turned on, and I closed my eyes for the sounds around me - the splashing from the curiously piano-shaped pool in the distance, the muffled laughs of students behind closed motel doors. The air was sweet and damp; the wind light and warm.
I heard a door slam from the first floor and opened my eyes in time to see an elderly woman toddling gently onto the lawn, clutching a water bottle. She walked up to one of the sprinklers on the lawn, glanced around, gave it a kick, and rushed back into her room. The sprinkler erupted immediately into a geyser, continuously shooting a barrage of water straight up about five feet.
As I stood out on the balcony that evening, the sole witness to a dumbfounding act of defiance, thinking about my marvelous girlfriend and hilarious roommates, quietly watching a broken sprinkler saturate the grass around it and turn the neighboring sidewalk into a muddy river, I couldn't help but stare up at the sky and marvel at my life.