Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Millinery Musings - Ganesh - In praise of a Sturdy Hat

By guest blogger Jennifer.
Jennifer's Etsy Store
One September, in the dead of night, the nearly 300 year old Valley Oak that had stood watch for centuries on the northwest corner of our property mysteriously split down the center of its trunk, pulled apart by its own massive limb, and came crashing down to the ground.

Half of its huge canopy covered our front garden and the 2 lane road in front of our house. It took a back hoe, 6 chain saws, 2 dump trucks, a chipper and 15 burly fellows 2 hours to remove this one limb. A few weeks later a similar crew came and spent all day cutting down the remainder of the tree.

No person or creature came to harm and no property was destroyed. It was miraculous. It was grace.

In the very heart of the wreckage, buried in the fallen canopy, clamly sat Ganesh, our beloved garden protector, who is carved of soft Indonesian tufa stone. In Hindu mythology Ganesh is the destroyer of evils and obstacles to seekers on the spiritual path. He stands at the threshold of new beginnings and captures all difficulties with his noose. His blessings include all manner of success, knowledge and wisdom.

His elephant head denotes wisdom, his trunk OM - the primordial sound that brought all creation into being, his body represents the earthly lives of human beings (he has a big pot belly!). He is humble enough to ride the lowest creature as his “steed” - a mouse. Ganesh is very well loved in India. And, you may have guessed already, Ganesh wears a hat!


Our Ganesh was not unseated by this calamity of the tree falling but rather watched calmly from atop his stone seat. The only damage to our garden aside from a few crushed plants, was to Ganesh’s hat - the spike on top of his ornate helmet was snapped off, so cleanly in fact that Dave was able to glue it back invisibly. No harm done!

Over time our garden has become more beautiful as it bathes in the new found sunlight. The olive trees and lavender have come into their own and the Calville d’Hiver heirloom apple espalier is taking off. The roses, once struggling to grow and bloom in the dappled shade of the oak tree, have shot up and out, the Nearly Wild and Knockouts exploding into a joyful pink riot of blooms each spring.

And the birds are back. The blue jays and towhees often sit on Ganesh’s fan-like ears (he is all ears to our petition!). They sharpen their beaks on his spiked helmet. Ganesh sits at his ease, ready in a moment to rise and protect the garden and all beings who enter it. He is never without his hat.

Best wishes and a happy spring to you!


My Computer Tutor said...

I liked your posting about the tree...and thank you for the info on Ganesh. My brother spent a month in India a few years ago and brought me back a little Ganesh who now sits in my dining room. I shall have a closer look at him.


Jennifer said...

I'm happy you enjoyed the tree post, Colin. You cannot go wrong with a Ganesh in your dining room. I'm sure he enjoyed your closer look at him. It's said that because Ganesh stands at the threshhold of new beginnings one never steps on the threshhold coming or going through a doorway as that is Ganesh's abode and he doesn't care to be stepped on!