That’s right the robust winds and heavy wet snow falling from the sky have me shivering on my stone-cold kitchen floor. March has bestowed us with illusionary behaviors, down-right dream-stealing, that only leave me to console sullen bears. Not so much with baby bear…she can be happy with just about anything life throws at her (toddler years should be frozen in time) unlike the wiles of atmospheric pressure spiraling great winds and distorting our dreams. Three days thus far this year with two-hour school delays, only for the disappointingly sparing accumulation of snow to melt by the next day or two.
For a second, we mused to chase the storm and meet face to face with mountains of snow where family has told us it has fallen with vengeance, but by the time we arrive, it may be gone. Instead of slogging about in frozen mud, we are in search instead of a great blue ocean under an open sky. But before we take off, a little khane-tekani is in order in our nest. “Shaking down the house,” is the literal translation to this common Iranian custom which takes place in the weeks before Norooz or new day on March 20th this year—the exact time the sun crosses the equator going from south to north or spring equinox. We have been embarking on an extensive and enthusiastic spring cleaning since our move in day. It has been slow, but with intent and purpose to clear out the old and make room for the new…budget constraints as well will carry out this ancient ritual most likely to 2018 Norooz. While it’s useful to get your nest in order, the task at hand will reward you with enormous spiritual and physical benefits. De-cluttering has the power to generate fresh energy, create mental and physical space, and release negative emotions.
There are carpets to be steamed, walls to be painted and all kinds of spaces to be emptied and sorted. Spring renewal is a momentous cycle in nature; what better place to start than in your nest. While Norooz is steeped in rituals and symbolism from an ancient past, the beauty of spring renewal is how every family celebrates in their own way prioritizing what’s meaningful to them and their nest.
We have been emphasizing on making sweets to represent wealth and sweet beginnings as well as inviting verdure in to welcome the spring. Jaded with bouts of teasing summer-like days and then bursts of falling flakes, we will not allow for our dreams to be taken from our hearts. We are making them now.
While I am still preparing root vegetables stews, bone broth and soups thickened with potato starch to hold a silky, velvety texture we crave these hibernating months, sweet-scented orange blossoms will soon be laden with tangy, sweet citrus fruits. Copious amounts thankfully will find a place in our nest, a mini orangery if you will in our dream space in our dream nest.
But for now our dream is luring us away, traveling from nest to nest spreading warm wishes and blessings over cups of libations and many plates of sweets. Where we will be devoting ourselves to nature and outdoor activities with only the worries of when to apply sun-block again. Cheers to getting full with friends and family, and celebrating the promise and fresh beginnings of a brand-new year.