Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inhaling the Scent of Rain

Do you like the way it smells just before it rains? Do you take a moment to appreciate it? I do. I love the way the whole world is transformed when rain is approaching and afterwards.

Water of earth, water of air, water of water, water of fire.

Notice how the world usually smells to us when we first get up in the morning, and how there is a distinctive smell that the water colors into our consciousness just after it rains. It helps us perceive the aroma of the plants around us, projecting a more dense taste of the natural fragrance. The earth itself yields up a pungency that presents our palate something new even though it is very familiar. Suddenly there are tones that speak to our sense of taste as well as smell and offers a renewed connection to the earth itself.

Did you ever notice how there is a particular smell that envelops you when you walk in the mountains among the pines and the streams? Notice how the entire palette of smells that rise up to greet us when we enter a desert area that immediately speaks to us of a change in the environment?

In each case, the change of place is both specific and broad at the same time. Yes, the person who is familiar with the different plants and can readily identify them and distinguish their scent. At the same time there is a general mingling of scents that create the entire environment of desert, mountain, forest or seashore. Altogether, the mingling of the big bold scents with the delicate fragrances create the aura of the entire space.

It is similar to walking into a huge field of flowers, eyes at first not recognizing individual shapes, but rather swaths and splashes of color, at first simply overwhelmed by the visual explosion. Then the excitement calms as individual plants come into focus and sometimes saying their names helps us to feel more at home.

Sometimes we do not know their names and we try and familiarize our senses with them simply through the color, shape and fragrance. Some of them will be memorable to the touch as well.

Inhaling the scent of rain is a very sensuous experience. It signals the return of something to our world that we need. It offers us a gift to remember this by. It encourages us to let our feelings flow, the sense of smell bringing us spontaneous recollections triggered by various smells that stimulate memories attached to them.

The sent of rain also comes with a sound that is cleansing. We can turn off radio and TV and computer and just listen to the sound the falling, running water makes as it cleanses and refreshes. The sound of rain invites us to deep moments of contemplation and relaxation.

Inhaling the scent of rain is an invitation to stop and enjoy a deeper moment, a taste of life, the scent leading to sounds, sights and tactile, touching experiences. Breathe in, breathe out and enjoy the scent of rain. Water of air, water of fire, water of water, water of earth.

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