I will have three New Years this year! First was Rosh Hashanah, last will be January 1, and today we celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Though (I think) the 5-day festival is over, Saturday night worked the best for a low-key celebration. And, because we have a pool and a substantial outdoor space, we were asked to host the celebration. This holiday is about a lot of things, and is celebrated in many different ways. As one of the stories was told to me, a prince was exiled from his city for many years, and when he returned, the city lit up with lights in celebration. Hence, we light candles, preferably floating in water, and eat sweets. These things I can do!
A tradition that one of our classmates keeps is to say a prayer or wish as she lights a candle. So as we sat around the pool and watched our tinfoil boats of tea lights move, we each said something that we were thankful for. I realized, listening to my classmates (from 1st, 2nd and 3rd year) how much each of us appreciates both this education and each other. We had finished long days and yet we took the time to sit, listen to and learn from one another. After we had each spoken, Maya led us in an ‘ohm.’ I hope that every week can begin with a group affirmation of the sound of the earth beginning. - (thanks to Andrew for the pictures of the lights!) October blogger of the month, Ariella Krones