|Our street corner (before the rains) in Kigali|
Petrichor is on my mind and in the air so much lately, here in Kigali. When we arrived it was so dry and dusty that the insides of my nostrils, when I tried to blow them clean at night, would be sometimes clogged with the same red dirt from the roads. Now the rainy season is beginning, and the wet fresh smell rising from all those stones and clay after rain is one of the very best things about being here. If you've gotten an e-mail from me lately, it's likely contained a lament about how much I'll miss fall, my favorite season, all those smoky, caramelly, woolly, crunchy-leaf smells. Petrichor may prove to be my consolation. Though it's not salty, it has the same calming effect as sea air I've smelled and loved in New England and the Pacific Northwest. Everything in the air here changes after these heavy rains--the light, the weight, the sounds. Things turn dark green and then golden and the smell is close to chlorinated, but with none of the burn. I will long for autumn as I’ve always known it, but feel lucky for the chance to fall in love with this new (to me) season’s smell also, all that wet clean rock, all that dark rushing road.