Another fast for women

Today is Gouri Vrat (also called Swarna Gowri Vrat in Southern India and Hartalika Vrat in North India. It’s a holiday honoring the austerities of Parvati, the mother of Ganesha. Women observe this day by fasting and asking for the blessings of a happy family. Tomorrow is Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha’s birthday (I’ll write more tomorrow about that and him).

My family is having a particularly challenging time. The baby has come down with the chicken pox, which may require yet more changes to our traveling plans. We are also facing the possibility of moving back to the US much earlier than we expected. It’s all a little stressful and more than enough to juggle. I am facing the stress of the unknown and the waves of disappointment over possible missed opportunities to see friends. Putting the theory of non-attachment into practice is hard work!

I decided that today is a good time to observe a fast on behalf of my family. I am praying for our happiness and well-being. I am asking for Ganesh to remove the obstacles in our path. I am fasting in honor of those obstacles, in honor of Parvati and of the work that women do for their families. I’m a nursing mother of an exclusively breastfed child, so I won’t be observing a full fast. I’m drinking lots of water, juice and tea, and will eat dinner tonight (we have a guest coming over). I haven’t fasted since before I got pregnant with my first child, so this will be work enough!

May you and your families be blessed: happy, safe, and free.

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