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From the West

By Andrew Hawes — Sr. Warden

June is a another big month for me.  My wife’s birthday, Father’s day, my wedding anniversary date, and the anniversary of my first date with my future wife, all lie in June.  June is when we traditionally celebrate the Feast of St John the Baptist, with a festive board – which are much more about baptizing out palettes with libations than anything related to the kind of Baptism that St. John used to perform.  Just as no-one knows the literal origins of our Fraternity, the original reason why the Holy Saints John were chosen to be our patron saints is also lost in the mists of antiquity. 

June is the month in which summer starts – “no rain season” out here in California, but back in New York I remember that there would be summer thunderstorms, where warm rain would fall, and I can recall as a child running around outside in them, and loving the feel of the warm water striking my skin. 

June also marks the halfway point of the year… wait, the year is nearly HALF OVER already?!? Holy cow!  Where has the time gone?  Ahem, back to the article…

While it is generally a happy and pleasant memory-filled month for me, it is also a milestone within each year, a reminder that time marches inexorably onwards.  It holds the summer solstice, which is our longest day of the year and usually falls on the 21st.  An interesting fact about the summer solstice – while it’s the first day of summer, and our longest day of the year, it actually marks the point in the Earth’s orbit around the sun when it is nearing its furthest point away from the sun.  Aphelion, the point where the earth is literally as far from the sun as possible, happens only a few weeks after the summer solstice.  It’s the tilting of the planet on its axis that makes us feel the summer warmth or winter’s chill, and not how close to the sun it is.  It has always seemed logical to me to think that our summer months should occur when the sun swings NEARER the sun- but no, it’s just that little wobble on its axis that causes our seasons.

In this year of 2023, June is the month in which my daughter has just graduated from college, and my youngest son from high school.  My wife is turning <CENSORED> and we have been married for 28 years!

I look forward to June each year, and I hope that all of you have (or can find) reasons why you can also!

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