The night lamp was on, and I had a harried, desultory look on my face. It had been one of those days in which a lot had happened, but nothing had really happened. Days sent to try stout persons souls. The husband came and told me that I should probably try meditating for a bit, but I shook my head stubbornly. What if I fell asleep?
He looked at me amused. His eyes danced with the unspoken words: Who are you and where is my wife?
I laughed, and understood the look. A Lover Of Her Sleep if ever there was one. I told him I wanted to read a little, since I have been falling behind in my reading, and he shook his head indulgently. I really do think you should sleep though – you look so tired!, he said, a line creasing his forehead as he looked at me. I swatted at the idea like a pesky fly, and surveyed the bedside table.
I don’t know how to use the word Tsundoku correctly in a sentence, but I had Tsundoku-ed the local championship leagues. Piles of books were stacked – children’s books, fiction books, non-fiction books, and all looking enticing and inviting.
Tsundoku is a beautiful word denoting the piles of unread books by one’s bedside.
The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku (積んでおく, to pile things up ready for later and leave) and dokusho (読書, reading books). It is also used to refer to books ready for reading later when they are on a bookshelf. As currently written, the word combines the characters for “pile up” (積) and the character for “read” (読).
I picked up a serious tome, and settled in. I had no idea I had been scowling till I started smiling a few minutes later. It was the musical patter of the rain. The beautiful rain was coming down in bucketfuls. I opened the curtains, and reveled in the beauty of the rain lashing down against the windows, soaking the tree tops, and flattening the flower beds. There is nothing prettier than the night skies sending torrents of rain.
I loved the word Pluviophile. Meaning a lover of the rain, it seemed to have a nice ring to it, a word meant to bring a smile to one’s face.
I opened the door, and watched the rain. I felt the cool breeze caress my face, and felt a surge of gratitude. I had said to my friends only a few days earlier that it will be lovely to have another bout of rain before the summer months set in and the neighboring hills turned brown. The Earth had already started emanating a slightly thirsty aura, and I yearned for the smell of rain against the hot Earth.
I have been looking for the word that captures that welcome scent, and found one recently.
Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), meaning “stone”, and īchōr (ἰχώρ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
The Pluviophile in me smiled at the word and tucked it away for future use.
The weather forecast had predicted a Storm. In the US, it is never Rains but Storms. The rain I had watched was not a Storm. A Storm is when the rain huffs and puff and stomps its weight around. But this was no Storm. The street lights cast a lovely light on the clouds overhead and the raindrops pouring down. The world looked mellow and in that moment of watching the rain, a calm descended upon me.
After a few moments, I traipsed back to bed. I lovingly surveyed my Tsundoku pile again, and set my tome aside. It was time to read a Children’s book. Storm by Sam Usher beamed up at me, and I snuggled in with the lovely book.
A beautiful book that captured the joy of playing outside after the rains and storms. I have never flown a kite successfully, and the book made me want to. The illustrations are mellow works of Art, and after admiring all the pictures in the book, I slept the sleep of the tired but happy.