Baba Joon’s Eggcraft

For forty-three years, my dad worked as an ear, nose, and throat specialist and surgeon. We call him Baba Joon, which means “Dear Papa” in Farsi. On the job, Baba Joon worked with precision, detail, and dexterity. At home, he cooked, crafted, and fixed broken things. He hemmed garments for me, my mom, and sister. He reupholstered chairs. After I got married and had children, he made tiny Christmas reindeer from twigs and berries.

When he retired in January 2018, a couple of months shy of his seventy-sixth birthday, my dad ramped up the handiwork. Now, he dyes eggs for Norooz, the Persian New Year that coincides with the spring equinox. (We celebrated this year on March 19.) He gathers flowers and leaves from the garden to make silhouettes on the eggs. He uses red cabbage for blue dye, onion skins for red, beets for brown, and saffron and turmeric for yellow. Now, Baba Joon inspires me to carry forward this new tradition with my sons.

— Bita Honarvar, photographer and photo editor