Last Master's letter I wrote about the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Now I'd like to talk about February, the longest month in the year.
"Wait," you might say, "February is the shortest month of the year." Well brother, measured by days, agreed. But after all the fun and excitement of the holidays and the New Year, and before all the glimpses and anticipation for Spring provided by March, sandwiched in the middle is February. I can see why Valentine's Day was put smack in the middle of February's 28 days, but its just not enough to make the month move.
So for me, these are the longest 28 days of the year when cabin fever sets in. Is there a Masonic symbol for cabin fever? Is that the hidden meaning of the dot within the circle?
Symbol or no, the thing February teaches me is patience, and to keep the eye on the long game. So to help me make it through this February, let's consider the 4 Cardinal Virtues.
“TEMPERANCE is that due restraint upon our affections and passions which renders the body tame and governable, and frees the mind from the allurements of vice."
Temperance (possibly aided by a wee nip of whisky) will help me keep my mind sharp and clear to focus on keeping life going and on track.
“FORTITUDE is that noble and steady purpose of mind, whereby we are enabled to undergo any pain, peril, or danger, when prudentially deemed expedient."
Fortitude (possibly aided by old fashioned vitamin D) will help me keep my body going through the cold and dark, moving past life's obstacles with resolve.
“PRUDENCE teaches us to regulate our lives and actions agreeably to the dictate of reason, and is that habit by which we wisely judge, and prudentially determine, on all things relative to our present, as well as our future happiness."
Prudence (definitely aided by my wife) will help me navigate the winter with wisdom, knowing to pick my battles and keep my sights on the light of Spring.
“JUSTICE is that standard, or boundary of right, which enables us to render to every man his just due, without distinction."
And finally Justice (aided by some self-reflection) reminds me that just as we all suffer through this winter, so too do I carry my share. I accept my just due, and suffer not alone.
Brothers, It's a long short month and we have quite a bit of work to do. So please join me in brotherhood and Freemasonry and let's barrel through the rest of winter
Sincerely And Fraternally,
UPCOMING EVENTS - See our Calendar for details
Feb 7 - Regular Communication | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall
Feb 21 - Special Communication [MM]| Pittsfield Union Grange Hall
Feb 28 - Master's Table Dinner | Location TBA
Mar 3 - Past Master Roast and Award Dinner
Mar 7 - Regular Communication | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall