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The special smell of a long awaited rain.

Updated on March 30, 2013

Mystical Clouds

Somewhere in between
Somewhere in between | Source

A very special lady wrote a very special hub. For some it helps us relate.

I understand that the number 1 sense for remembering something is smell. I do believe it to be true. There are places where the earth and the ozone meet. That I do not understand but know it to be true.

A fine writer wrote this a bit ago:

Somehow reading it, the man was transported to different times and places. It would appear that words can invoke a smell that can trigger a memory.

Our man remembers a few times. These are times of our life not counted in minutes, hours or days. Perhaps we should just call them moments in time.

A Land that time forgot, near Sedona Arizona

The young boy was about 7 years old. About five months out of the year he lived in small hallow in a large canyon. The name of the place was Indian Gardens, his family land was an original homestead. That was obtained with the agreement of the Paiutes that lived there before. A year earlier they completed the "cabin" and there was a real pump and even hot water and toilets.

For all his life before since he could remember he pumped a hand pump and primed a water tank that sat on the south side to get heat for family showers from a pull cord. By this time he had had a job and lost it. During the building of the Cabin he straightened nails and soak wood handled tools and poured Ice tea for Grandpa who was the carpenter. Everything done by bucket as there was still no auto pump although they put hoses in the stream and would water by siphon.

Life was hard for this kid, but he was very happy and joyous and free.

Big time fun. About a mile up a red dirt road was a fishing hole and a general store.

Up there, was a perfect fishing whole just downstream from the causeway (not a bridge but concrete road with pipes so you could cross in low water) There was also a cable car to hand move in high water. On the other side of the creek was an Ice House, really cool where they would hang game pre-butchering. There was bear and mountain lion and Wild Boars, and of course squirrels, coons and bobcats. There was also winter fruit in there and cider taking it's time along with wine from an vineyard a mile or so down creek.

The two gas pumps were hand pumped/cranked. I do not know the price but only that only change was exchanged. There was a wooden skating rink next to the store. It was a big deal with a big jukebox on Friday and Saturday nights.

The boy by 5 could skate like a fool and all the high school girls loved him.

Down in that Hollow with 150 foot high cotton woods and black walnuts.

Time is frozen in this Indian Garden.
Time is frozen in this Indian Garden. | Source

There are two times to go fishing, for a working man on a creek.

You always go Sunday morning, crack of dawn. And you go when the air is heavy with rain so that leaving tools and supplies out might ruin them in the rain.

When a Southwestern Thunderstorm is about to hit, those who know know.

There are obvious signs like a wrong directional breeze with moisture. Loose hair turning static. A weird color more reflective of the dirt than the sky. And a strange metallic odor mixed with moisture. Not copper like a new bleeding thing, more like deodorant with aluminum.

So you notice this early and head to the fish. Something about the energy and heaviness in the air pushes flying bugs lower above the water and somehow fish get this idea and start jumping and getting bugs. It is like the air causes lack of quickness while the water gets charged with energy.

So the boy's grandpa taught him this and also did scurry him under a large rock at first sprinkling of a month awaited rain. Just then the lighting cracked and a two hundred year old sycamore is split in half all hundred feet of one side smoldering and burning and falling into the creek where they had just stood fishing. Now the boy was becoming a man. Not by years but by experience. A concept sad in our urban settings but glorious in our country.

Now this whole story has just lead up to the walk back to the cabin.

A string of fish for sure. A great tale for sure. A bonding with a grandpa for sure. rolled up pant legs and bamboo fishing poles for sure. But that is not what the boy learned.

It was a smell in the air, a presence of a different energy. A dust without dirt and a steam without heat. No birds sang. Horsetail grass and willow and blackberry filled the air. It was as though you could stick your hand out in front of you and a time warp would swallow it but give it back. The red earth was no longer dusty, but not at all wet.

The grandpa was a solitary, non-spiritual but religious man. He kept his peace during the walk back which made the boy understand better that this space was not a thing to be spoken of, but to be respected. The boy had to look up the word petrichor, and then he began to realize that words cannot always express truth.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Rosemay50, just for a moment let us think thusly; That drop of rain does the same to us and gives us an energy that is beautiful unless over analyzed.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I loved this story of bonding with grandpa and those special moments.

      For me this brought back memories of when we in Port Moresby, Papua new Guine. One year we wnet 42 weeks with not a drop of rain.

      I never heard the word "petrichor;" before but it really does not do justice to that steamy sweet smell of the earth coming back to life.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks MsDora. I do want to thank that special grandpa

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thanks for the word "petrichor;" do not remember hearing it before. Thanks for sharing the water bucket experience, the fishing and bonding with grandpa. Really, a special story.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much MrsBrownParlour, I must say that the memories in this hub seem as real as today. Now I had best get to work so I can go for a canyon hike this pm.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 

      5 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I'm very touched by your nod to me, thank you! I see that we are both inspired by similar things.

      I really enjoyed your story's descriptive sensory images (especially of sensing the approaching storm). This is a lovely nostalgic time-travel piece. There is so much wisdom in the land and in simple life-sustaining activities (like fishing) that you have captured here! Thank you for sharing your memories and insights.

      Also, I think I mentioned this to you elsewhere, but I was born in Arizona...we left when I was 2, but I have always been drawn to wide open spaces and desert land, and that photo of the desert brush reminds me that I really want to go back there one day. :-)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool. I am glad it was good for you, thanks always for your support

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I can almost take in your vivid word pictures Eric with all my senses. Great hub. Thanks.


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