Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Microstory 977: Rain and Petrichor

People hate the rain, and they hate gray skies, but the same feeling of comfort you experience with the color blue is what I experience with gray. Two of the few scents that my allergies allow me to smell are poop and popcorn, which don’t smell all that dissimilar to me, so you can imagine how important it is when I encounter something pleasant, like petrichor, or rotten eggs. Most know that water is vital to life, and if we want to find it on other planets, it’s probably going to require that water in liquid form. But standard water alone is not enough to make complex life. It is the water cycle that promoted evolution in its earliest days, and continues up through today. This cycle is an extremely delicate process, with more moving parts than you may realize. As I’ve recently learned from an educational YouTube video (shoutout to It’s Okay to Be Smart) the primary reason there is so much rain in the Amazon rainforest, and not so much over deserts, and other places, has to do with the purity of air. Contrary to what you might have been taught, rain is not completely pure. It never is, actually, because that would be impossible. Amazonian trees excrete chemicals into the air full of tiny particles, which water molecules attach themselves to and grow. Too few of these particles, and not enough liquid water can form into clouds. Too many, and it can’t form at all, because now there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Every day, greedy people all over the world are doing their damndest to destroy this planet. The rainforest provides us with our oxygen, and the life-giving water cycle. Your actions impact everyone, whether you realize it or not. Throughout history, cultures have had mixed feelings over rain. It is both cleansing, and saddening. Rain can wash away your problems, and clean you of your past mistakes, so you can start anew. But rain also marks death. If movies and television are to be believed, it should be raining everywhere, everyday, 24/7, as long as someone important has died, which is everywhere, everyday, for the grieving survivors of about 151,600 people. I see rain differently. I know that it can’t wash away my sins. They belong to me, and I’m responsible for them. My problems don’t go away unless I do something about them. I don’t feel sad in the rain either, because I find it harder to associate it with crying tears than the average person. Rain, to me, is just another example of how rare and impressive this world is, and how perfectly suited it is to us. I’ve spent some time researching, and I don’t think we’ve encountered another planet where it rains liquid water, and liquid water alone. You should count yourself lucky, so the next time you need to write something down, maybe stay out of the paper, and reach for your phone instead.

No comments :

Post a Comment