Negative Ions and The Wondrous Benefits of Rain

blueberry leaves in the rai

Blueberry Bush After the Rain

My love affair with rain dates back to my youth. I feel a sense of euphoria as clouds gather and a lightening in my heart. Once the rain falls, I have an intense desire to be outdoors. Last week I pulled a few weeds in the rain and it was bliss. Unfortunately my foot started to throb, not happy about the flex involved in the weed-pulling crouch. If not, I would have been out there for hours. It’s all about the negative ions.

According to WebMD

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.

While this doesn’t explain why some people hate the rain, it speaks volumes for my personal sense of glee. As clouds gather, I have more energy, an enhanced awareness of things around me and a feeling of joy. It’s extraordinary.

Daisy like yellow flower

Daisy-like yellow flower

As I drove home from physical therapy today, I heard an interview with author Cynthia Barnett. Her book Rain: A Natural and Cultural History has just been nominated for a National Book Award. I couldn’t wait to come home and look it up.  The synopsis reads:

Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.

It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.
Cynthia Barnett’s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our “founding forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

Perfume!!! How has this escaped my grasp for so many years?

Fragrant Pink Hyacinth

Fragrant Pink Hyacinth

As I write this, clouds gather.

tree reflecting in rain on deck

Magnolia Tree Reflections on a Rainy Day

Rain is on the way.

Be still my heart.