art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #9, Special Bicentenary Issue
autumn 2019



  • This Holy Land of Persia by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Personal Reflection Piece

  • The Gate to Eternal Life by Roxana Karamzadeh

  • Sweet Fruit

  • A Small Window on the Big Blue Sky by Mahtab Rezvani
  • Planting Seeds by Shadi Saadat
  • Broken Dreams by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • * Reading Anne Frank in Isfahan by Sahba
  • * Sweet Fruit by Anisa Bahamin

  • In the Land of Persia

  • An Alley Called Golestan by Nabil Zarei
  • Culinary Sisters-in-Law by Neda Akhavan
  • My Grandfather’s Library by Siavash Haghighat
  • * A Small Piece of Heaven on Earth by Saba Shadabi
  • * Riding a Purple Bicycle in the City of Isfahan by Sahba

  • Holy Places and People

  • Maku and the Muslim Man by Shadi Saadat
  • Fort Tabarsi and The Courage of the Brave Bábís by Negin Rezghi
  • The Cloak by Shadi Sadaat
  • The Mysterious Box by Sara Shakeri
  • Haji Assad, the Great Teacher of Seysan by Shadi Saadat
  • * A Glimpse of the Glorious Landscape by Rojin Ghavami

  • Through a Child’s Eyes

  • The Grief of War by Tanin Azadi
  • An Earthen House by Nava Habibi
  • A Cherished Dream by Elmira G.
  • The Golden Crown by Shaghayegh Rashedi
  • A Dream of Childhood by Basir Samimi
  • * The Love Bird by Zarrin Kasiri

  • Comic

  • Ruhi & Riaz
    by Eira

  • From Yazd to New Delhi

  • A Weekend in a One Hundred Star Hotel by Saba Shadabi
  • The Long Journey from Yazd to Tihran by Ali F.
  • The Road at the End of the World by Tanin Azadi
  • My Soul Dances in New Delhi by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • The Turkish Girl by Nava Habibi

  • The Left Hand of an Artist

  • The Left Hand of an Artist by Sara Shakeri
  • To Sing or not to Sing by Ellie
  • A Sympathetic Friend by Farina Shafei
  • Taraneh Alidoosti, My Hero by Nava Habibi

  • * asterisked works appeared in previous issues of e*lix*ir.

    ← Previous       Next →

    A Small Piece of Heaven on Earth


    In the Markazi neighborhood, in the widest alley, four acacia trees laden with white flowers perfume the alley with their heavenly scent. In front of the acacias, on the other side of the alley, two pine trees stand, dressed in green in every season. They stand like faithful soldiers, protecting the house behind them. Their king is a diligent gardener, my father, who, every Saturday, waters them. The house they guard is my father’s house, a piece of heaven on earth.

    My father’s house has a small yard with three flower beds. One of them is filled with tulips. When they bloom, you cannot stop gazing at the brilliant yellow and red of the petals. In another flower bed grow several rose bushes — pink, red, orange, and yellow. The beauty of this yard is not just the loveliness of the flowers; at the far corner of the flower-bed grows a great, old fig tree. Since it was very young, this fig has raised its branches to the heavens, offering silent prayers to God for the abundance of its fruit. Once God bestows on it hundreds of figs, the tree gives them to the birds above and the ants below, and to everyone who pays it a visit. This fig is the most generous tree I have ever known. Beside it stands a young persimmon tree, which graces the yard with magnificent orange fruit in autumn.

    When I was child, we lived on one floor, with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a big utility room. Then, fifteen years ago, my father had a second floor built. On this floor there are three rooms: one for me and my sister, with a view of the yard; a small one for my mother and father; and another room with a large book-shelf, called the meeting room, where my father, who was a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly, used to host Bahá’í meetings, feasts, and holy days. In Iran there are no Bahá’í Centers, so meetings are held in people’s homes.

    The kitchen in our home is big, but not big enough to support my mother’s talent in cooking. She is a great chef who is guided by her heart; there is the taste of love in every single dish she makes. She bakes breads, cakes, and cookies and cooks Iranian dishes in the most perfect way. Without doubt, the kitchen is a delicious part of our heaven.

    But our house in the Markazi neighborhood is not heavenly because of its physical features but for the spiritual atmosphere that permeates it. Everyone is warmly welcomed there. The sound of prayer, the music of laughter, the murmur of friendly conversation, the fragrance of the love among the people who come to the house are what make our home a small piece of heaven on earth.

    * Originally published in e*lix*ir issue #5

    Photo by Bev Rennie