And Then It Rained

Rain comes to the Galisteo Basin.

I know a lot of you out there have had WAY TOO MUCH rain, but we so have not. In fact, the first six months of 2011 made for the driest year on record for New Mexico. And for a place that’s already a desert, that’s saying something.

This has been a dry like I’ve never known. Now I know where all the buried soaker hoses run, because only the plants right next to them stayed green. Our skin has itched like crazy with the dry, which no amount of lotion seems to affect.

Then there are the fires. Blazing on the horizon, filling the sky with smoke. Filling our lungs with particulates from Los Alamos that are nevertheless, we are assured, perfectly safe. It’s difficult not to feel the press of the Apocalypse under these conditions.

But, ah, the rain.

This storm filled our rain barrels and soaked the ground. We’ve been hitting 95 every day and having to run the AC through the afternoon, but the rain dropped the temperature to 58. I put on a sweater because the windows had to stay open, to let that sweet, clean, moist air fill the house.

This morning we walked out of the house and David said he smelled smoke, still. I said no, you’re smelling petrichor.

He said, “what the hell is petrichor?”

I scoffed at him. “It’s the smell of rain on dry earth, duh.” (This is only one of the delightful features of living with a writer.)

But it’s a real thing and once you know what that smell is, you’ll always remember how it feels when the rain returns.

4 Replies to “And Then It Rained”

  1. I learned a new word today!

    I have a perfume somewhere that's supposed to try and mimic that smell. I think it comes close.

  2. Can you send a little of that rain to my family in Texas? They'd love to get a whiff of petrichor about now.

  3. Isn't the rain (and the smell!) lovely, Jeanne? Hooray for rain!

    How interesting, Laura. I'd be interested to smell that.

    No, Linda. This is OUR rain. We are NOT sharing!

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