The Australian deserts are usually red. But rain brings transformation.

Everything turns green ∙ potential ∙ life
Everything flows ∙ abundance ∙ growth

Rain releases the scent of organic material on stone, asphalt and concrete. Human noses are extremely sensitive to this. Western scientists call it ‘petrichor’, from old Greek pétra (stone) + íchór (blood of the gods). The Aṉangu in the Western Desert of Australia use a less complicated phrase:

panti wiru: ‘good smell’

And green is the good colour, because green means water, in a desert of red. Western people, in their desert of concrete, understand this too:

green energy = clean
greens = healthy
green = natural = good

Western people long nostalgically and futuristically for green – the Aṉangu connect with it. They use green plants with the ‘good smell’ on their bodies, so they can live, flow and grow like the land.

rain = life = panti wiru = green
the senses are not separate

What do your senses tell you when it rains? Do you smell a deep dark green, as refreshing and full of life as a forest? Do you feel asphalt flowing through your nostrils? Does it move through the air like nail polish remover or sparks above a campfire? Or does petrichor feel like squeezing a little balloon filled with sand?

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