Just as bears hibernate, our lodges may not go dark, but they change. We take into account our members traveling, planning our own holiday parties including St. John the Evangelist, or simply focusing efforts toward the new year. Side note: I always had trouble remembering which St. John was on which day until I realized nobody wants to get baptized in winter with a bunch of snow on the ground. Since then, I’ve never forgotten summer equals baptisms, and Winter points toward evangelizing to others. Personally, I’m not into the so-called arctic plunge.
The hibernation of the bears and the change toward a festive spirit in November and December through the New Year warrants more introspection and yes, reflection. We use New Year for resolutions, but why? I’m sure there’s history as to when someone decided something like “new year, new you”, but as Masons, we already view the world in that manner. We look at the cycles of nature and the cycles of life as lessons of becoming a “new you” many times over. We examine our lives against what we did yesterday and contemplate what it means to become better.
As we connect with old friends and family through the holidays, let’s take a moment to reach out a bit further. The old friend you may not have seen in a decade for instance. Someone you met at a conference and always meant to reach out again to connect. The roommate with whom you’ve lost contact over the years is only a phone call away. It’s worth your time to sit down and reconnect if only for a short time, and you can bring a bit of light and joy into their life. Do it.
As we reflect upon our lives and maybe connect with those whom we’ve let slip away, remember those two items are not so separate. We are meant to live and thrive through the cycles of nature, and we can take advantage of that time in connection and reflection to reset our own trestle boards. Call it resolutions, call it a return to our Great Work as Masons, call it simply a rebirth or reforming of our self to our higher self. Connect with others both near and far, reflect upon your own existence and changes, and adjust your trestle board for what you want to work toward next year. Call it what you like, we experience something unique to Freemasonry in connecting our degree experience with our daily experience, and nothing is as powerful as yourself fully realized.
Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a bachelor's Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30-plus years of teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12-year span. Randy is a 32nd-degree KCCH and Knight Templar. His Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two symbolic lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, a full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an open ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.