Each year, I love placing the garland I made almost forty years ago on my Christmas tree. Something about it nourishes my soul more than any mass-produced decorations I’ve purchased.
To make the garland, I cut full-colour magazine pictures into long triangles and rolled them around a straw, starting at the base of the triangle. Each triangle produced a thin, slightly oval paper bead which I shellacked. I strung them using round, wooden beads as placeholders between each to provide contrast.
This year, I have decided to make a few gifts and décor items. I began to wonder if I could make similar garlands to use on my tree and perhaps share with others.
The magazines I had on hand were printed on paper so thin that the sample beads I tried were hardly any thicker in the middle than at each end. I needed pictures on heavier paper. A good quality calendar would do the job.
I have a calendar that hit the mark last Christmas as a gag gift for a bona fide dairy farmer’s daughter and struggling yogi.
Twelve twelve dairy cows perform classic yoga poses in front of coloured backgrounds. Each time I noticed the calendar during the year, I laughed over the asana of the month and attempted to guess its Sanskrit name.
Aside: I know how hard those poses are even for the human body for whom they were designed. The cows had to be photoshopped. I’m taking these lines from the promo for the product with a huge lick of salt:
“Fascination with yoga is sweeping pastures throughout the world. Cows are turning to this ancient discipline in herds to reap the benefits of relaxation, flexibility and increased milk production. Twelve classic cow poses, including Downward Facing Bovine (Udder Mooca Svanasana), are aptly demonstrated in this unique calendar.”
When I took down the calendar, scissors at the ready, I discovered that each month has a word that evokes goals of yoga, like “peace,” “harmony,” and “unity,” beneath the cow graphic.
Wrapped up in beads, neither the words nor the earnest cows will be recognizable. But their message will endure in a new state.
This fact seems fitting for a holiday about peace, harmony, unity, and transformation.