Word Goal of the Week: Petrichor

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Pronounced: [ˈpeˌtrīkôr]


  1. A distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.
  2. The smell produced when rain falls on dry ground, usually experienced as being pleasant

A Simple Reflection on the Word

If you have ever “smelled the rain” before a storm hits on a hot summer day, you have experienced petrichor in the air. When the first few drops of water hit dry and hardened soil, and the ground begins to moisten, a pleasant fragrance is released. This is petrichor.

Scientists have found that it is derived from a combination of oils secreted by plants and through chemicals produced by soil-dwelling bacteria. The odor eventually goes away after the storm has passed, but the source of the scent lies in wait – ready to help us know when it might rain again. The smell of petrichor brings hope, and offers a powerful reminder that whenever a dry day comes, restoration is waiting, only a few drops away. There is a powerful lesson to be learned here…

If we look ahead and “smell the rain” that is coming to restore us, we can remain confident and hopeful – even during the most desolate of days. Click To Tweet

We all face personal, professional, and creative dry spells. Whether they last for long periods of time or short moments, they happen to everyone. Very similar to the parched days of summer, the arid times in our lives are only temporary.  When we take a minute to pause and breathe during these seasons, the scent hope we seek is more likely to be revealed. 

Word Goal for today

Discover your “personal petrichor.”  Think about what gives you hope when things seem barren. Cling to it if you are currently going through a dry spell, or allow it to lie in wait for a time when you need it most. Sometimes a small drop of hope can release the scent of renewal we need to move forward.

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