Sunday, November 14, 2010

Travels with Hanuman: A Magpie Tale

As I was sorting through my mother's belongings after her death, I came across a little medallion in a blue pouch.  It was a tiny brass image of Hanuman, the monkey king.  My mother had apparently picked it up when she was in India.  Wrapped up with it was a necklace made of misshapen pearls. 

My parents traveled a lot over the years after I left home.  They loved meeting people and welcomed many others into their home.  A string of foreign exchange students stayed with them and they visited each of their homes in return.  As they traveled around the world, my parents were showered with gifts from the people they met.  So many, that they were unable to keep them all.  Often they became gifts for their hosts on the next stop on their journey.

So what was special about the little Hanuman medallion that it was kept while other things were re-gifted?  And where did the necklace come from?  We were even more surprised when my Dad said he'd never seen the necklace before.  He remembered getting the medallion when they visited an old friend in India, but not the necklace.

Curiosity got hold of me and I looked up the story of Hanuman in the Ramayana.  He emerged as a selfless champion who served Rama, rescuing his wife Sita.  Later, Hanuman also saved the life of Lakshmana by bringing him a life-saving herb.  Hanuman never asked for anything in return, but Sita gifted him with a string of precious stones. 

When my mother died, my father received condolences from around the world from people whose lives my mother had touched.  The outpouring was incredible.  And then there was the necklace.  None of us know where it came from, but I like to imagine it was a gift from Sita, thanking my mother for the impact she had on others' lives.

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Willow over at Life at Willow Manor  has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the other fabulous writers participating in Magpie Tales this week.  You'll be glad you did!
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