Shanice J. Desilva

The Petrichor Project

/ˈpɛtrʌɪkɔː/ noun

"A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather."

The word Petrichor intrigued me from the moment I stumbled across it and although I often come across words that resonate with me; Petrichorchallenged me. I pondered on it for quite some time, trying to establish the reason why I felt so convicted. I always look for the underlying root of a word I come across, a habit from having spent my childhood/teen years studying and learning how to translate the Hebrew and Greek languages. The English language actually lacks description and depth in comparison to more mature languages like Hebrew or Greek, Latin and Arabic even. For one word of English you may find a paragraph and five other word references in the Hebrew or Greek translation. The art of translation is being able to fully grasp the meaning, context and history of a word and convey the message and weight of the word correctly. My father is responsible for passing on this passion to me and although we are far from being scholars, I can safely say we’ve spent a few hundred hours studying numerous translations and scripts of historical content, poetry and even scripture.
So, in relation to my history of studying words and their truest definitions, you could understand why Petrichor stood out to me as it is an unusual, uncommon word. I believe I was challenged because as I researched the meaning and history behind the word I found it's not an old word. In fact it only came about in 1964 and was, interestingly enough, formed by two Australian researchers (go Aussie!). These two researchers name's were Isabel Joy Bear & Richard G. Thomas and they were composing an article on rain for the Journal "Nature" when they coined the word 'Petrichor' into existance.  
Their task was to study what happens during the process of rain, or more specifically what happens when rain meets with dry or parched soil. They studied the soil and the effects of rain after a dry spell. There is a particular process that occurs when rain meets parched soil. Dry or stressed soil releases an oil into the air which produces the smell of 'Petrichor' when rain nourishes it. This oil that's released otherwise acts as a protectant for the soil and prohibits germination as a safe guard during the time of drought or stress. Simply put, growth is prohibited when soil is in drought or under distress. What's so beautiful about this whole study is the conclusion; rain nourishes and causes growth in parched soil or earth. We knew this, obviously (the point is coming..). But in translation, you could almost say that  Rain causes distressed soil to 'let down it's guard' and encourages the soil to germinate again.. to grow again. From this we get the scent of Petrichor; it's literally the scent of the earth coming to life again. 
I began to think about how this relates to my life or to life in general. I was provoked. I spoke to my friend about it and I told her I knew that there was something behind this word which I could not ignore; as though there was an opportunity in this word. I began to ramble about how much I want to help people and in my rambling said something profound; it surprised both of us. Sometimes I say something clever and it actually does shock me. I may write very expressively but I don't talk like this in reality! 
I said: "I feel like everytime you help someone or make an effort to show them you care, that's nourishing and that's Petrichor. Leaving someone, a place, or a situation better than when you found it. It's about using your words and actions to nourish people instead of destroying them, encouraging people to grow and to dream again regardless of what they have done or been through. It's like rain represents giving help or hope."
From that my mind began to work overtime. That is the creative edge in me; when I'm inspired I nearly cannot stop myself from envisioning how I'll do something and this entire thought process follows of furious brainstorming and planning.

The Petrichor Project is something I have been planning for some months now and I don't believe I can put an expiry date on it. I feel like this is going to be a journey which I will see through until the day I die; this project will be my legacy and my footprint. A documented and interactive journey of valuing people and enriching their lives with as much positivity, encouragement and support as I can muster.

How will I do this? One day at a time, one life at a time, one adventure at a time. I've said that I will launch small projects through the ProLeague that will encourage people to interact and collaborate with me to bring about change and 'rain' to someone or something that needs it. These projects will be Assignments with the sole purpose of improving and nourishing a person's life or circumstance in whatever way possible; big or small. In the meantime I am also writing a book. This book will be Volume 1 of many, I believe, and will form the foundation for the Petrichor Project. I know my journey is still young but I have already experienced so much which I don't want to discredit or leave behind; these experiences I have had so far have shaped my journey to this point in time, which has paved the way for the creation of the ProLeague. Volume 1 is titled 'Humble Beginnings' and you can find out more about it below in the 'What's Happening' section.
It was Ghandi who said " must be the change you wish to see in the world." and so here I present to you The Petrichor Project; my proposal for redefining success for the Everyday Champion.

What's Happening

Follow my journey! Here you can find out what is happening, what I'm planning to do next and where I am going. You can also follow my everyday journey on Instagram (@theproleaguewa). 

Thailand (April 2017)

As many are aware, I move to Thailand soon! April 30th I will be travelling to Phuket and will stay there for two months (approximately). I will be filming and piecing together a vlog whilst documenting my experiences as I travel. The main objective of my trip is to train Muay Thai however I will be completing more of my book whilst living in Phuket as well. 

The Petrichor Project
Volume 1: Humble Beginnings

Probably the most important news is that I am writing a book! The complete Volume I: Humble Beginnings of the Petrichor Project will be released 2018! 

You can read the Preface & First Chapter here!

I'd love to hear from you!
The Petrichor Project is all about people. I want to hear about your stories and adventures too! Send me a message with any enquiries, stories, testimonials or suggestions.
We're in this together!