Spring, summer, fall, winter. Which one came first? You may argue spring came first because that’s when the first buds bloom; while in fall, trees already have their leaves. I’d like to try to convince you otherwise, despite the extraneous fact that the Persian New Year falls in the spring.
The majestic season of fall never ceases to amaze me. In general, I consider nature to be a true testament to creation and nothing short of a miracle, only that we have become accustomed to its forces.
Autumn, in particular, has incredible symbolism and fills me with hope for the future. The season is known for the stunning display of every shade of green, gold, brown, orange and red foliage. Then, the leaves are tragically lost, left to wither on the streets.
The winter follows swiftly with fierce winds and enough rain to break and destroy all hope. Never despair, when all seems lost forever, buds suddenly appear, beckoning new life and renewed hope after the coldest of times. Only then can we bask in the sun.
There seems to be a lesson. The tree actually survives by virtue of shedding its most prized possession, its ego even. What we consider to be its great loss is actually its last chance to prepare for survival. Even something we thought was so negative, as it turns out, was for the best.
Similarly, when I look at things that I’ve loved and lost, it seems to me now in retrospect, that maybe possibly, I, too, was just shedding my leaves to make me stronger and ultimately lead me to a brighter future.
This can also apply to the history of the Persians in Great Neck. Many from our community came here after being forced to flee from their homes during the 1979 revolution in Iran. The Pahlavi dynasty under the king, Reza Shah, was overthrown by leftist and extreme Islamic organizations putting Ayatollah Khomeini into power as the supreme leader of Iran.
Many Persian families left behind their businesses, and everything they owned, content to leave the country alive. I, personally, can’t imagine leaving my home, my town, my language and everything I ever knew. Having to start over in an unknown country in a rushed haze seems really daunting and tragic.
After the cold times, it seems, though, there is always new optimism. I don’t know where the fresh buds emerge from, but, amazingly, somehow, our community has prevailed and we are much stronger for it.
Maybe what happened to us was a necessary evil, devised to enable our community to emigrate to this blessed country. It is cruel for me to say, because I did not experience it the way my parents and grandparents did. It led us to move here, experience new freedoms, take on new positions, realize our potential, build new lives and enhance the possibilities available to our children.
As my grandmother says (in Persian, of course), “Curse be on Khomeini…for not coming sooner. If he had not destroyed our world, we would have never come to this brilliant land.”
Maybe all of our hardships, all of our downs, all of our history in this game of life are just preparing us and ushering us into our new roles, for our own ultimate benefit.
This brings me back to my point. I think fall is the beginning. It’s when we strengthen and prepare ourselves to absorb the push and pull of winter. Then, we endure the cold and feel its bite. Only then can the new buds be born in spring and, finally, in summer, we can relish at the pool.
I wish you all happiness and success year-round and, in your rough patches, never forget the sun will come out again.