It rained today. The morning clouds were angry and the humidity was oppressive, suggesting a coming storm. I didn’t get my hopes up, though, because lately the forecasted rain has failed to materialize. As a result, grasses are turning brown, and our clay soil has baked itself into subterranean pottery. We needed rain… badly.
When it rains, the air has this wonderful freshness, briefly cleansed by the precipitation. The stricken earth seems to relax and it softens, exhaling a very special fragrance – earthy and sublime – that I just want to soak up. That smell is petrichor, and I drink it in like it’s a healing elixir. Maybe it is. Or maybe being sprinkled by gently falling rain, walking through grateful wet grass, and enjoying the temperature drop brought by the rain is the elixir.
Whatever the cause, the rain is a balm for the soul and a reminder that we need to do better by Nature – now. Without the right amount of rain at the right time, farmers – and everyone else (people and animals) downstream – will suffer. We must do better to achieve a more respectful relationship with the planet, be better stewards of its wonders, and mitigate the damage we’ve already done.
A world without enough rainfall to meet all living inhabitants’ needs is a scary one. Let’s actively work to avoid that near-future scenario: make every act considerate of the planet’s wellbeing, so that we can enjoy petrichor now and in the future.
For more information about our climate crisis, see the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on climate change.