Like the Fragrance after the Rain

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, November 19, 2023

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We were singing the beautiful Bill and Gloria Gaither song, There’s Something About that Name a few weeks ago and I reflected upon the line, “Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain.” I asked to be reminded of the fragrance after the rain because it had been so long since we had rain.

            I looked up the “fragrance after the rain” and found that it actually has a name. I won’t go into all the scientific jargon, but it was named by two Australian scientists in 1964. It is called “petrichor” and it is a result of falling rain mixing with the oils that plants produce during a dry period.

            For me, that fragrance can be added to a list that includes the baking of chocolate chip cookies, the smell of a new car, and the brewing of an early morning cup of coffee.

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            Thankfully, as I write this Tuesday morning, it looks like we may be getting some rain in the next few days. I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch but at least the boards on my deck outside the back door have beads of water on them for the first time in a long time.

            At least the drought has come during our harvesting season. The months of September, October, and November are the primary months when our peanuts and cotton are picked. I’m no weatherman and I’m not prone to keeping records, but I don’t think we have had any rain for these months and that’s unusual.

            Most of the peanuts have been picked and the fields of cotton have looked as good, this year, as I have ever seen or heard. Some farmers are telling me of yields that boggle the mind, even three bales to the acre. One told me that his cotton was the best he had ever had and he’s been farming for over fifty years. I’m glad he told me that, but I had driven by the field for months and you could not see the ground for the white and opened bolls so I wasn’t surprised.

A look at some of the ponds in our area show more shoreline than I’ve seen in many years; in fact some of them have dried up. I’m wondering, what happens to the fish in the ponds when they go dry?

            Most years we have some kind of activity in the Gulf of Mexico that brings a hurricane (I’m not asking for one of those!), but this has been a very quiet fall. If there is a silver lining to the cloud of having no rain that might be it.

            All of us can remember that fateful October of 2018 when Hurricane Michael brought, not only rain, but devastation. I may have wanted some rain last month, but I will say a “No, Thank you” to rain if it is going to bring me a hole in my roof like Michael did!

            Hopefully, the next few days will bring the much-needed relief that we need from the drought. I have already mentioned that I’m not a record keeper, but I’m not sure I can remember such a long time in the fall of the year without rain, but it’s probably happened before. The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun.

            There is the old saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just be patient. It’ll change soon enough. And, I’m sure it won’t be too long before someone is saying, “I’ll be glad when it stops raining.” Well, I’ll be glad when the water from the sky washes all the dust off my car!

            And I can take a big whiff of the fragrance after the rain.