petrichor.

23 Jun

A soft breeze blows gently.

It caresses my hot skin as though it were silk, whispering through the quaking Aspens that stand sentinel off of my front porch. My skin erupts in a cascade of goose bumps as the cool air rushes to catch up with the heady barbecue smoke drifting from the grill next door.

Rain is coming.

Perhaps it will bring with it booming claps of thunder and bright shards of lightning, baring off of their clouds as though running from the rain itself.

Perhaps it will blow south to Breckenridge, or perhaps north to Steamboat, Lake Dillon and our Rocky Mountains doing their best to redirect the wind, the rain, the lighning, the thunder, and the clouds that are shrouding Red and Buffalo in a fog of a brooding Aegean blue.

I recently learned that the smell of the rain hitting the dry ground has a name, an identity of its own.

Petrichor.

Somehow, the word, Petrichor, takes away from the scent that punctuates so much of the summers of my childhood in the Midwest.

Summer has a mythical quality that, at least in my case, stems from childhood.

The excitement of long days on beach, the sand, dusty and hot, between my toes and the chilling waters of Lake Michigan making my feet, my hands, and my spine ache with cold.

The shrieks and cheers of summer nights spent playing “Kick the Can” with neighborhood kids of all ages, our own little block party situated in the midst of our neighbors’ bushes and trees, all within 50 steps of the can, itself situated in the middle of the street.

The chorus of halyards as the lines sing their song against the mast; the gentle rocking of the waves as the harbor softly recites a lullaby and lulls you off to sleep.

Ice cream, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, dripping down your cone, down your hand and up your arm; a secret salty, sweet smack as you discreetly lick the drip clean from your appendage.

Petrichor.

Though the word is bit scientific for me, the smell, the identity of the rain?

It means everything.

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