When in High School, I was part of the competition marching band. We did pretty well, and I learned many of my lessons in discipline and perseverance while practicing very early and during very long hours. I gave up my summers while dedicating it to marching practice and playing the music until perfect. This period also marks my initiation and activity in the local DeMolay chapter, although by my Junior and Senior years I had already found my attention and focus had drifted toward band practice and the competitions.
The discipline and perseverance paid off, although admittedly I could have benefited from some lessons in patience. We won the competitions, traveled, won more competitions, and suddenly the season was over. No more Friday football games, no more 6:15am Mellophone sectionals, nada. It left a void in me until the next marching season was upon us. I enjoyed sleeping in a couple of hours later each morning before classes started, but there was something important missing in me. That void was tangible in that I missed working together with my classmates trying to perfect a move or emphasize some piece of music. I feel the same in lodge as we go dark for a couple of months in the summer or get into the Holidays.
I previously wrote about the need to refresh ourselves and recharge our Masonic batteries, and that still applies. I’m happy and a bit relieved that my Blue Lodges and most other bodies are rather quiet during the heat of our summer as I need the break. Yet, here I am with the void again. I’m looking at my calendar wondering where I can go sit with Brothers this evening or next? Who opted not to go dark, so maybe I can help out with some degree work or just show up showing support?
I know I’m not alone with these feelings of simply marking time, and returning to degree work after COVID was a blessing for us all. I encourage you to reach out to your lodge brothers that you haven’t seen in a while. Pick 5 or 10, and simply send them a text. Pick up the phone and call a few of the older generations that may not be as comfortable with texting. They may be a bit nervous about returning to lodge, and maybe that friendly voice, mouth-to-ear, is something they need to hear. I know it helps me when I hear from Brothers.
Bro. Randy and his wife Elyana live in O'Fallon, MO just outside of St. Louis. Randy earned a Bachelors in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in telecom IT. He volunteers his time as a professional and personal mentor, is an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol. He has a 30+ year background teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy's Masonic bio includes lodge education officer of two blue lodges, running the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, active in York Rite AMD, Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis co-librarian, Clerk of the Academy Of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, a trained facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. As a pre-COVID-19 pioneer in Masonic virtual education, Randy is an administrator of Refracted Light and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy enjoys facilitating and presenting Masonic esoteric education, and he hosts an open, weekly Masonic virtual Friday Happy Hour. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.