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From the South

By J. Rafisura—Junior Warden

Another month of this crazy pandemic is gone. Both the federal and state officials are gearing up to re-open society. People are anxious to get ready to be back to the new ‘normal’. As we have heard, phase-by-phase is the way to do it. Risks are still out there. Calculated risk, however, is the word. 6 ft. physical distancing, face-coverings recommended or in other cases, mandated, frequent hand-washing, and limited social gathering!

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime or Skype meetings, Telehealth SMS and chats are gaining traction with the way we interact with each other. So far, people are getting good at taking advantage of technology. At Crow Canyon lodge, meetings are done via Zoom to discuss and tie up some loose ends. Technical difficulties are at times a challenge but collective techy minds always prevail…meetings done via the information highway. At any rate, necessity is the mother of invention. Why do you think Masons felt the need to have secret passwords and handshakes over 300 years ago? Difficulties and challenges spawn new ideas and innovations to move forward? But what about lodge meetings? What about rituals that involve tactile juxtapositions? What about regular social gatherings? After labor, will refreshments be as satisfying without being able to break bread with brothers, ladies and widows at the same table? Will the wine be as sweet without that collective gulping sound as we toast for friendship, brotherly love, hope and faith? Is the risk of getting sick worth the benefit of doing exactly what we used to do in the lodge?

These are the questions that pop into my mind as we draw closer to re-opening our society. Yes we open and integrate, but the risk is still out there, if I may repeat. As we take guidance from the Grand Lodge as to how we conduct our business, there will be decisions that will be left to the lodge to make. For now, the officers are meeting and coordinating whatever needs to done or has to be done in new and different ways. It is not always easy as each of us are also inundated by struggling to keep life going. Being in the healthcare industry, life has never been busier and more tense. As this pandemic unfolded and continues to happen right before our very eyes, I feel like we are getting a glimpse of the “New World Order” that some people may have believed that Freemasons are advocating. And yet, here we are struggling to get our acts together just spending our time trying to figure out how to get the audio working in our Zoom meeting.

But rest assured, my brothers, we are getting through this and there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. Days will be brighter as the days go by. We will learn to adapt and innovate. We will move forward - calculated baby steps, phase-by-phase. When the time comes, we will again be able to break bread together at the same table, sit next to one another and raise glasses in a toast. Hugs, fist or elbow bumps will happen. Let us continue to look to the East – praying, hoping, searching and seeking for the truth, living out our obligations, and helping others in whatever way we can.

Hang tight, my brothers. Please reach out to the lodge if you need help and assistance.

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