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Travel Writing 2017 Application

Petrichor 2017

A place I’ll never forget

simoneel czar

United States

Have you ever smelled earth? Real earth. Not the earth that is captured in fancy glass bottles and sold for a price. Not the smell that has notes of vanilla or hints of rose or sandalwood, I mean free earth. I mean petrichor, the smell that is free and wild, and composed all at the same time. The fragrance that earth emits when rain drops kiss the dry soil of earth. This is a smell that I will forever remember.
I was meeting a friend that I had not seen in years at the local park. The skies were blue, the clouds nowhere to be seen and the sun, bright and scattering its light on the dry soil. I sat on the park bench waiting for him to arrive. I could see the steep valley down below with its lush green grass and the warm air that I was breathing. He walked calmly towards me. I recognized him immediately, I still had that familiar attraction towards him and felt it right away. He sat down next to me on the bench, we greeted each other talking about how we had been living, so much time had passed, yet he was the same. For a moment I felt there was no one in this world but us. No worries, no care, no problem. Nothing. Just me, and him, and our laughs. Nothing else mattered. The sun was playing hide-and-seek behind clouds that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. The wind was calm and steady, I could feel the climate building up both, inside and outside me. I could tell he felt the intensity of that moment too. I didn’t even know what we were talking about anymore. Then, in the moment of that absolute tranquility and commotion, the gods of rain and love decided to shower on us. I will never forget that rain, it touched my skin but cleansed my soul. I felt intoxicated by the mere smell that surrounded me. The petrichor. The pleasant, light smell of earth… it felt intense. Neither of us moved even an inch, with our eyes locked into each other’s, unashamed of what was happening. We had fallen in love, as the rain was falling on us.There was complete silence. I couldn’t even hear the birds or the planes or the cars or whatever had been going on around us. All I remember were seeing his eyes, hearing the unapologetic sounds of the rain crashing rhythmically on the earth beneath our feet, emitting the most beautiful smell I had ever smelt. A smell that reminded me of home, a place I questioned if I had even ever known before this moment. A complete divine moment of stillness. Just his piercing eyes, looking into mine.
I sighed loudly and looked around me, I knew this would be a place I'll never forget.

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