Adaptability, adoptee, Covid, Covid-19, labyrinth walking, Naw Ruz, Tehran, Tibet
March seems to be a month of “Anything Goes.” During this end of winter/beginning of spring, a lot happens: Change to Daylight Saving, Tax preparation, collecting seeds for spring gardening, St. Patrick’s Day, Oscar’s Night, the Ides of March. Here is Santa Fe, as we begin Spring, the weather is wildly unpredictable. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next may bring several inches of snow.
In Tehran, where I lived in the 1960s, March signaled the beginning of a new Year. Naw Ruz (pronounced “No Ruse”), was, and still is, a time for festivities and exchanging gifts. It is a day recognized around the world. Occurring at the Spring Equinox, it has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. The celebration dates back to the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.
My older son was born in Tehran right before Naw Ruz. Iranian friends and American friends who were also living in Tehran — brought flowers and presents to the house. For my first Naw Ruz, I was immersed in mothering, somewhat oblivious to everything else. Later, I would learn of the custom of the laying out of symbolic greens and leaping over a fire.
The “haft seen” table includes seven symbolic items all starting the with an “s” sound: sabzeh, senjed, sib, seer, samanu, serkeh, and sumac. •Sabzeh (sprouted wheat grass) symbolizes rebirth and renewal; Samanu (sweet pudding) stands for affluence and fertility; Senjed (sweet, dried lotus tree fruit) represents love. Leaping over a fire the last Wednesday before Naw Ruz allegedly brought good luck. I was too busy nursing my brand new son to set a proper haft seen table or leap over a fire, but I was fascinated to learn of these customs.
In addition to remembering Naw Ruz, I’ve recently had the unwelcome experience of coming down with Covid. Fortunately, a light case. Walking my way back to health, I was strolling about Santa Fe Plaza last week — definitely a “walk on the mild side” — when I encountered peaceful protesters walking to save Tibet. The day was beautiful, and though spectators were few in number, I felt confident that awareness was being raised. The Tibet supporters seemed a fitting welcome to the change of seasons.
Meanwhile, come rain or shine, the neighbor’s brass Samuri stands guard over my part of town.
Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!
Elaine, I had no idea about this holiday. How fascinating! So glad to hear people care about Tibet, too. And that you are healing ok. I did mail your book, so please watch for it. I’ll email you this week. xo
I enjoyed reading all of this, Elaine.
I greatly appreciate your readership, Ginny. Happy almost April!