Abbas Khodamoradi Dashtaki is a food technologist, originally from Iran. In June 2011, he migrated to Palmerston North in New Zealand to be with his fiancée. He has since started a challenging life in New Zealand as a PhD candidate and business manager, and more recently and happily, a father.
A few days ago, while I was shaking off the fatigue of routine job and study by relaxing on our backyard deck, I found myself admiring our garden, noticing that it was full of flowers, and enjoying the beautiful smell of the freshly-mowed lawn. Of all the beautiful flowers, it was the apple tree blossoms that caught my attention most. The sight of them, on this day in early spring took me back through a long journey in my memory, back to almost my first memories of life. It took me back to Dashtak, as a child, where my brain was astonished by everything it could sense. It was especially amazed by what I could see. This was the time and place where I first began to look at things and wonder. I remember the melting of snow around our house, built on a steep hill. And I remember the blossoms of the apple trees popping up. It strikes me now that seeing blossoms while snow was still melting away was special. I don’t know when or after how long, but the connection took me onwards, and made me think of Newrooz.
I noticed my brain saying: “When the apple trees are blossoming, Newrooz is coming.” More and more memories came to me, as I sat there. The smell of beautiful cookies, the visits to my grandparents, the presents, new clothing, and especially the crowded group games where I would play around with my brothers and cousins.
So many years have passed since then, but the apple trees still blossom at the same time of the year, wherever spring comes. And in the beautiful blossoms, I find beautiful memories from many years ago and many kilometres away.
Sitting there on the deck, at my home in Palmerston North, on that beautiful, sunny early-spring day, I think of my baby. Now 6 months old. And I think of how she too will soon begin to look at all these mysterious dots in her life; how she will start to try to connect these two lives of hers. And I will recommend to her nature and culture as her starting points. I want to tell her that these are what keep you inspired for your entire life. They can keep your heart warm forever and help you to remove the dust from it, if it ever gets lost under a pile of routines.
© Abbas Khodamoradi Dashtaki, 2017