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SCENT OF EARTH

by Lumiere, May-23rd , 2018



Ah ! This one is already so harsh it hurts.

While scanning the net for something else I saw this image of rain hitting a puddle of water creating those lovely live expanding concentric circles.

And then suddenly it hit me... A compelling gripping  olfactory memory that had me go weak in my knees momentarily.

It was a crazy feeling sitting in an office cubicle with no aircon.

That smell of parched Earth soaking in  the first rain ...

I believe the word for it is Petrichor  that in terms of its sound,its aural signature upon  my poet’s ear, is in total disjunct with its sensuous affect. Even if Petrichor was derived by two Australian  scientists  Isabel Joy Bear and Richard G from combining  a pair of Greek roots: petra (stone) and ichor (the blood of gods in ancient myth), my aesthetic disgruntlement with the sound  remains unconsoled.

Well, never mind the peeve that may have more to do with the summer heat than I am willing to admit. What is in a name after all ...I know you know exactly what I am talking about. It seems this divine aroma from the Earth’s Body comes from a mixture of :

1.Plant oils secreted by some plants during arid periods to inhibit seed germination in an inhospitable clime

2. Bacterial spores produced by a soil-dwelling bacteria known as actinomycetes that secrete a chemical called Geosmin which.incidentally , is also responsible for the earthy aroma of underground veggies like beets

3. Ozone which also adds to the powerful scent of fresh rain.

So take a deep breath, friends ...

Imagination is a more potent force than we can imagine. Who knows, so many of us imaging the same thing together just may succeed in invoking  that direly desired light spell of summer showers with its cool breezes and yes (for lack of a better word ,here goes), Petrichor!


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