The month of April means time to bring out rain boots and umbrellas and smell the scent of rain in the air.

That distinct scent has a name – petrichor. It’s the smell of the oil that’s released from the Earth into the air before rain begins to fall. Scientists suggest it’s familiar because we inherited an affection for the smell from our ancestors who relied on rainy weather for survival.

April also means hearing that age-old saying April Showers Bring May Flowers.

The poem originated in 1157 in a collection of Thomas Tusser’s writings titled, “A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry.” His version:

Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers

Tusser wasn’t the first writer to write about April showers. At the end of the Fourteenth Century, legendary poet Geoffrey Chaucer had his own say on April in “The Canterbury Tales.” His version goes:

“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;”


“When in April the sweet showers fall
That pierce March’s drought to the root and all
And bathed every vein in liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;”

Not exactly the same as our familiar poem, but close enough that we can call Geoffrey Chaucer the grandfather of our familiar saying.

As days grow warmer, genetically hard-wired plants begin to push through the thawing soil as frosts end. Those April rain showers help nutrients reach the roots faster and the ecosystem begins its activity anew.

Whether you sing in the rain or grumble inside on rainy days, think about what’s to come. Those dark days do bring beautiful flowers. So, while you’re gathering rain gear, dig out those flower vases for May’s flowers.