Now I'm not one who believes too much in luck. I'm skeptical that any object has the power to change what will inevitably happen in our lives. Although that said, I'm also not someone who believes that everything we get in life, good or bad, is wholly because of what we've done to deserve it. It is chance that I was born to parents who valued education. It was chance that I was born to a supportive family. I am who I am today, in part, because of the sheer luck that I was born when and where I was born. I could just have easily had a much more difficult upbringing as result of being born into different circumstances. So I am thankful for the luck that I've had. But I still don't place too much faith in lucky talismans.
However, there are a few hanging around our home. There's the lucky quarter given to us on our wedding day by a friend of a friend, someone we had never met prior to our wedding. But for whatever reason, we've hung onto that quarter through five moves, two children, and nearly 13 years of marriage. There's the whole anise star that sits atop our refrigerator. We've saved it for years because someone at some point told us that a whole anise star brings luck and is a symbol for fertility, and having gotten pregnant nearly the second we decided to have children, I'm beginning to wonder if in fact the anise does have some sort of power. And then there's Ganesha.
This little wooden statue, only about two-inches tall, was a childhood gift to my husband from his parents. They found it during a trip, not to India, but somewhere more midwestern, and brought it back as a little token for him. And for some reason, the statue has almost always found a home on a window sill wherever we happened to be living. Currently he calls the window sill in our study home. This is mainly because our desk blocks easy access to the window sill, making it impossible for my children to grab our lucky little elephant. This wasn't always the case. As you can see, the top of the statue has broken off, thanks to an unlucky encounter with my two year old son who loves Ganesha and el-a-fanties in general.
It's funny. We're not a particularly religious family but my two year old son knows the story of Ganesha, Parvati's child, the one she wanted so desperately that she created him out of the sweat and dirt of her body. The child that her husband, Shiva, was so surprised by that he accidentally cut off the child's head. Realizing his terrible mistake, Shiva replaced the child's head with the nearest he could find, an elephant's head. And the child, Ganesha, lived. So lucky that he survived, Ganesha, is a symbol of good luck, the clearer of obstacles. He is prayed to first by Hindus before beginning any ceremony or event.
My son loves this story from his little (very cool) Hindu deities book. And the statue and story remind me just how lucky I am to be raising a son who is already so interested in other cultures, especially in their stories. He doesn't judge. He gobbles up the the world, hungry for more stories, wanting to learn more. How lucky am I!