Bite sized wisdom: utilizing time and tools for success

Spring is upon us and the magic of life is everywhere. Everything and everyone is craving a fresh new start.

Birds are chirping for company. Green buds are blooming into vibrant flowers.

With the sun above, and the rains moistening our soil, we roll our sleeves and head out to the garden.

We begin to rake the soil. Running blades through the ground and awakening what was once dormant. Preparing the garden beds for a new season of yielding fruits.

The process takes time, but with the right vision and motivation, patience becomes a worthwhile feat. Taking time helps us observe and review all facts. It helps us adjust and reevaluate our methods.
saynotofoodwaste.rake.soil.start.fresh.spring.april.sustainable.green.wisdom.2Step by step, little by little, our seeds grow. And though initially it is hard to look at a small seed and see it’s final state as a lemon or a strawberry,knowing that if both parties put in their effort, then in time fruits of labor will rest on the palm of your hand.

In our everyday life, where the whole world is rushing after dreams, taking a minute for reflection feels unnatural. It may even feel like time is being wasted. The reality is – we will always fail with unfamiliar challenges and situations if we don’t study them and search within us for the tools to overcome them.

Any goal that you want to accomplish, whether in the garden, in the gym or in your personal life will require your patience. It will require your commitment, time for observation, and tools to help realize your goals. With all three, nothing is out of reach.

Wishing you all a bit more patience as you wait for your gardens to bloom.

Happy spring!
Hokuma

HAPPY NOVRUZ!

Happy NovruzThe seeds of my samani have sprouted and are bravely growing upwards. The other day a delicious shipment of traditional deserts arrived on my footsteps: pakhlava, shekerbura and shor gogal. The house was filled with the aroma of rice and we lit up some candles.

This fire aspect of the holiday takes root in the Zoroastrian religion. On the last Tuesday before Novruz you make a bonfire to jump over and light up candles in the house. Each candle represents your family member. Each individual makes a wish, and it is said that the candle which dies out last represents the wish that will come true. So picking your candle wisely was always a difficult challenge for me.

But, as I prepare to celebrate the coming of a new astronomical year, the reawakening of nature, I feel something awakening in me. My spirits are higher, my smile is wider and I feel like a budding flower that is ready to open up its arms and sing to the world: “HELLO! I’M HERE! ALIVE AND HAPPY! SO GLAD TO BE HERE!”

This is what I feel, and I am so sure that many positive things are waiting all of us. So as you come together to celebrate, rekindle friendships or make new ones, stay open, stay positive and something magical will happen. And if you really want some extra protection, then burn some uzarlik (rue), as it will provide you protection from evil eyes and negative energies.

Here’s to new beginnings, new adventures and new life!

Happy Novruz friends!!

Much love,
Hokuma

Tuesdays of Novruz

Novruz.Azerbaijan.FoodQuote.Holiday.Festivity.SpringNovruz  Novruz  Novruz!

The  celebration of spring, of new life and warm weather!
Living on the East Coast in Washington, D.C., I enjoy a good amount of warm weather, but 2014 started off very cold and snowy!

And while looking at the falling snow cover the streets and dress up the world in pretty white dress is breathtaking, shoveling a pathway from my door steps through this thick and sometimes icy substance is a challenge.

Not to mention that unlike clothes, snow can’t be washed. And like all white clothes it gets dirty quickly and easily. So, am I looking forward to flowers, green grass, blue sky and an opportunity to wear shorts? The answer is YES YES YES!

But, with anything powerful and spiritual, you need to summon it. And after centuries of working on these spells and dances, we, Azerbaijanis, created a whole tradition around the coming of spring. We call this holiday – Novruz, and every tuesday we dedicate our energy to a specific element.

In total, there are four Tuesday’s we celebrate before Spring appears to us on the 20th of March (at least that’s her plan for this year). And not only is 4 my favorite number, but the elements at play are pretty awesome too!

Here’s the list of what to expect.

February 25 –         Water Tuesday
March 4 –               Fire Tuesday
March 11-               Wind Tuesday
March 18 –             Earth Tuesday

The celebration begins with water, because it cleanses the Earth and prepares it for the beautiful spring. Considering all the salt and dirt left from this winter, there will be need for lots of cleaning!

The other Tuesdays are followed by fire, wind and earth to awaken nature and prepare life to blossom anew! And boy, am I ready to blossom, try delicious new foods, watch wild flowers bloom, and enjoy star gazing while lying on the grass.

My personal favorite is starting a bonfire and jumping over the flames to make sure my new year is filled with success and that my dreams come to fruition. But, I won’t join in on ‘papagatdi‘ and will have to experience it vicariously from my friends in Azerbaijan.

The word literally translates to ‘throwing of the hat’, and describes the process of leaving a hat at the doorsteps of neighbors, knocking on the door and running away. The homeowner then opens up the door and puts some sweets into the hat. To some it may sound like ‘Halloween’, but there is definitely no ‘tricking‘ involved, and the treats are left anonymously. And the children leaving the hat do it as smoothly and as swiftly as possible, so it turns into an entertaining game both for the one sharing sweets and the one receiving them.

I will also be planting ‘samani’ which is made of sprouting wheat seeds. To watch it grow you must sing to it: “Samani, protect me, and I will grow you every year.” So be sure to catch the udpates and my samani growing skills on Facebook.

If you have any questions about the holiday, or how to grow your own samani, feel free to contact me.

With warm wishes,
Hokuma