we took to the woods

Celebrating Ula’s birthday and Halloween; beautiful gifts from near and far. A rainy Sunday, dreary, with intermittent monsoon-like winds that blew down enormous tripod bouquets at the funeral downstairs (Chinese wakes are held outdoors near the deceased’s home and last for days).

Looming largest is Deepavali, though, next weekend. We’ve been invited by E’s Hindi teacher for the puja and supper. We all have new clothes, Harpreet is cleaning everything and memorizing songs, and stuffed into bags in various corners is a great deal of paraphernalia: small umbrellas, incense, clay candle pots, tiny belled cows and elephants, ingredients for the sweets that Lakshmi, who will float in on a lotus showering her faithful with gold coins, prefers.