Plants after a storm, that’s one of my favorite smells.
Remember that night you came home from work and I was in tears, fighting a mental breakdown? I was in the midst of a steroid treatment, one week out of the hospital, and it was all feeling a bit overwhelming.
You walked in, saw me, and turned around to take an ice pack from the freezer. Steering me outside to a seat on the terrace, you put the ice pack on my head and then went back inside to get me a big glass of water.
We sat quietly, and after a while you told me what you like to do to relax — water the plants. I must have given you a funny look, because you assured me that I needed to try it, it’s so soothing. I thought, why not, and you set me up with the hose.
And so I watered the plants. Breathing in the sweet scent of water hitting sun-warmed greenery, fine mist rising in the air. The sight of Berlin laid out before me, soft pink light of the sun setting on all those buildings. Noticing the pebbles of the terrace below poking my bare feet. I felt my muscles relax, only the slight tension of my right hand holding the nozzle, my arm working to move back and forth, back and forth, slowly.
Time passed, but I didn’t feel it go. I looked up as the last bits of light were fading. I felt peace.
Now, whenever I come across that scent of wet leaves, after a rain or walking through a garden, I’m reminded of you and that night you taught me that one way to take care of myself is by nurturing something else.