We certainly have been having a good ole fashion New Jersey winter. The iceboats, some of which were constructed in the nineteenth century, are skating again on the Navesink River. The sledding slope alongside my home formed by the snow plow mounding snow is again being used by neighbor children.
As well, there is no shortage of pond ice for hearty skaters and pickup hockey games. This is reminiscent of winters during the 80’s and 90’s.
One evening while shoveling snow I thought how marvelous all this is. I felt the cold, crisp air, and saw the clean, virgin snow and trees frosted more beautifully than the loveliest holiday greeting card; then there was the eerie ambient light of nightfall reflected from the snow and the muted silence. Another day I saw several small winter birds perched upon thin tree limbs while snow whirled around them. I wondered on what do they feed when all is covered in so much snow, the same query I have regarding the many tracks of deer, fox and squirrel that I see in the snow. I marvel at these intricacies of life in so harsh a season, just as I marvel when I think of the acumen of those who designed and manufactured intricate and often beautiful clockwork mechanisms during the Renaissance, and later, when there were no precision tools or computational methods as we know them today. As I marvel at the intricacies and interaction of the components of such designs, I think of the hand of the Great Architect of the Universe.
I thought of how each day is a new design on the Universal Architect’s trestleboard. Like Hiram Abif’s wax coated trestleboard, each day’s design is expunged and one different from the previous is laid down. The sun rises each morning at a slightly different azimuth, ascending to a slightly different altitude at the meridian, yielding a slightly different duration from the previous and next one. Each night the stars appear in a slightly different place relative to the horizon and North, and continue on a slightly different track across the skies till dawn. We have learned not to expect one day to be like the previous, for we are often surprised by events of nature and the world.
So with our lives, each day has new opportunities for accomplishing goals, displaying a new demeanor, assisting others in need, and performing those duties that we have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in our lodge. As well, as we appreciate the marvelous ambiance of our surroundings and the diurnal variations of nature, let us too marvel and appreciate the contributions of our families, friends and brothers in each of our lives.
Charlie Johnson, Worshipful Master