The other day, as I walked to work, the streets were wet from the night’s rain.
The sun was coming out from behind the low-slung clouds, and I could tell it would be a reluctantly sunny day.
You know how smells can suddenly bring you back to places you hadn’t thought of in years? I crossed the street and suddenly smelled Jerusalem after rain. I pictured the limestone walls, the sheen of water of the pale stone, the crush of people: bearded rabbis in black hats and young men in tight jeans, matriarchs with wigs and girls with long skirts, a soldier standing on the corner, watching.
When I came back after almost a year there, it took me a while to settle down. Loud noises made me nervous about explosions. Helicopters overhead made me think something bad had happened. And everything seemed so big: the streets so wide, the cars so overgrown, the grocery stores obscenely huge.
I thought of all of this from that one moment of the smell of rain on pavement.