A pandemic has swept around the globe, wreaking havoc and causing death wherever it goes. For most of us, life as we know it has ground to a halt or at least a slow crawl. Fear, grief, loss, and anxiety weigh heavily on many of us as we try to figure out how to cope with this strange unseen enemy.
But, if you stop, calm your mind, and listen you will notice – some things have changed and for the better, including our senses. All of our senses have been affected by what is happening at this moment, but it is not really our senses that have changed, it is our environment that has been altered – and mostly for the better.
So have you noticed?
1. Nature has exploded in color – deep, rich saturated hues and vibrant luminosity. Suddenly the earth is green again, not just green, it is actually rich, vital, brilliant “GREEN.” A sign that air pollution is cleaner and the plants can now breathe.
Quote: One of the most common impacts of air pollution is the gradual disappearance of chlorophyll and concomitant yellowing of leaves, which may be associated with a consequent decrease in the capacity for photosynthesis. – Impact of Urban Air Pollution
2. Nature is Singing in harmony. Our world of sound has transformed into a melody mixed with silence and nature singing. Our busy world has slowed down and daily noises we were once accustomed to have disappeared, replaced by nature. The song of birds singing happily fills the summer days, breezes chiming through the trees, bees happily buzzing as they perform their daily routine, neighbors are home more, and earth is healing.
3. The skies are blue and clouds are fluffy and soft. Once filled with pollution from vehicles, airplanes, and factories, there is a clearing and cleanliness. For the first time in decades we can breath again. Enjoy majestic sceneries once covered by pollution. And enjoy the heavens in their true form.
4. The smell of fresh dirt. When was the last time you truly remember the fresh fragrant smell of earth? As a child? While gardening? But to just stand there and smell the dirt fill the air with its earthy fragrance is not something that most of us have experienced in decades. It is happening now. Is it due to the cleaner air? The awareness of our surroundings we are suddenly experiencing? Or is something in the soil springing forth and reminding us of the deliciousness that the earth provides? No matter the reasoning, it is just wonderful to enjoy the smell once again.
‘You speak like the very spirit of earth, imbued with a scent of freshly turned soil’
– The Hall of Fantasy by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Quote – We feel something deep in the smell of that fresh-soil, and it is one of those mysteries that takes us back to a place in time. The smell of soil invokes something so deep that it never really can be described. Can you describe the smell of soil in a forest, freshly tilled field, or in a swamp? Have you ever wondered if fresh tilled soil has always had the same sweet aroma? –The smell of living soil
5. The fresh smell of rain. As a child one of my favorite memories was the smell after a good Spring rain in Colorado. Everything was clean and fresh again. Living in Washington state it rains quite a bit but it never seems to have that clean fresh “Smell” afterwards – till now. It rained one day and when I opened my window there it was – that aromatic clean smell after a good rain. Clean, fragrant freshness filled the air.
“The air has a much stronger aroma to it after a good rain.” – What causes the smell after rain?
Times right now are different, stressful, unclear, but there are positive changes happening. Our hope is that once life goes back to “normal” that is it not the normal it once was, that the good that is happening today stays with us in some fashion as we move into a better and more sustainable future.
Then remember how beautiful life and the earth is.