I had a great time with Ganesh Chathurthi.
In the morning I went to Chinmaya and there was a Ganesh puja performed by the children.
In the afternoon I created my own Ganesha statue, then I cooked modak and offered them to the idol and then we drove to a park and I released the statue into the water.
There were a couple of hitches. My modak turned out terrible! They were falling apart and I couldn't get them into the right shape, but my friend who was visiting said to keep trying anyway. They ended up looking like wontons. The filling tasted fine, but the dough was not great. Next time I'm buying them from the grocery store.
Letting the little statue go in the water was deeply moving. It was hard for me to leave it behind there. I like the symbolism of "dust thou art to dust returnest" (which is part of a line from a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, though he goes on to write that this was not said of the soul).
You may not realize it, but this is the first year that I'm doing Hindu holidays. I've considered myself a Hindu for seven years, but all I've done before is Holi. I was never well connected in a Hindu community and I didn't know how to go about it. Now I have a temple to go to and I have my Hindi meet up group, which invites me to things. And I'm figuring out for myself how to make each holiday meaningful, and which traditions I want to