by Lori Gloyd
If you are fascinated with ravens, read incessantly about them, observe them in nature, can recognize their unique voice, collect their feathers, collect raven art and artifacts, and know their literature and folklore from around the world, you are probably an amateur CORVIDOLOGIST, which is the branch of Ornithology specializing in RAVENS and their family. And magically speaking, Raven is your totem.
Lori Gloyd is a fourth-generation Californian and grew up in the Los Angeles area where the multicultural diversity and eclectic sensibilities of the area influenced her development as a photographer, writer, and artist. Her specialty is "recasting reality" by using her photographs as foundations for digital montages and mandalas. Lori was educated in the Humanities and sums up her creative identity as "a historian by schooling, an observer of the natural realm by inclination, and a voyager through the world of spirit by compulsion." She explores the convergence of history, place, and culture in her creative works, often infusing her pieces with a spirit of otherworldliness. Her short stories, photographs, and digital artwork appear regularly at the Soul Food Cafe. Lori currently resides atop an ancient sand dune near Los Angeles.
Lori's blogs include Into the Blue, a portal to all her works on the web, and Return to the Garden, resources for growth and change.
Montage artist, Lori Gloyd, presents a series of digitally-created mandalas and shares a guided meditation.
My mother always took down the tree and other Christmas decorations on January 1. A lot of people take down their tree on December 26, wanting to be done with the holidays. Many people hold the tradition of keeping the tree up until January 6, Epiphany, the day that many believe the three wise men brought their gifts to the baby Jesus. My mom, however, did not want a dead tree becoming a fire hazard in her house, nor spend any more days than necessary picking dead pine needles out of the carpet. So on January 1, the tree and the decorations got hauled down.
But, however practical my mom was, she was also a bit whimsical. She believed that keeping the Christmas decorations up until the New Year would invite all the good will and happiness of the holidays into the next year. To take the tree and the decorations down before then would invite disaster. This is how she explained it to us. I don’t know anyone else who follows that tradition. Maybe it is some ancient Scandinavian custom– maybe it is something my mom made up. I don’t know, but I follow the same custom today. I don’t have a tree in my home at Christmas because I don’t have the room and I have developed an allergy to them, but I put up lights and other decorations that I do not take down until the New Year.
I don’t do it for the same reasons my mom did. I think taking the decorations down on December 26 is far too abrupt a way to end the Advent season. I love the cyclic flow of the season and I need to ease out of it. I don’t do it to bring in the good tidings of the season… well, okay, maybe just a little bit…
Really, though, the main reason I keep this unique custom is that it was something my mom did. It is a way to remember her. It is a tiny way to keep connected to my mom. It is my small way to keep her a part of my Christmas.