Monday, June 23, 2014

Quarter For Your Thoughts: Part II

I know you have already read about my little excursion to Erie over the weekend but I didn’t talk much about the actual meeting and my experiences with my fellow brothers. While there is much that I cannot divulge, I can still talk about things in broad terms to give you a little flavor as to the purpose of my trip. While I have attended a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in the past (you can read about it here), this was the first time that I traveled any significant distance to such a meeting.

From the time I arrived at the hotel to the moment I departed, I was in the midst of what can best be described as a family atmosphere. Sure there are distant cousins that you really don’t know but you understand how you are connected to them. At the same time, there are many people in attendance that are much closer like an immediate family. In the end, you are all brothers sharing the same reunion-like experience.

It is during those events surrounding the actual meeting when you talk with the brothers you do know, reconnect with brothers that you only see on occasion, and introduce yourself to brothers whom you have yet had the chance to meet (it also helps when the DDGM introduces you). This rather easy when you go into the conversation knowing that you already have something in common and it makes future gatherings (whether it is a Quarterly, Annual, or some other Masonic event) more interesting when you can catch up with your fellow brothers. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that long as I found myself sitting at the meeting with a couple of brothers I had just met the day before.

To those who are familiar with the ritual and activities of a local blue lodge, the meeting itself is very similar to a regular lodge meeting. However, it is fascinating to watch the slight differences and see those brothers participating who have achieved such distinction in the craft. It is also interesting to hear about what is taking place across the Commonwealth both at local lodges and with regard to Pennsylvania Freemasonry in general. This is of particular interest to me as I am focusing daily on the activities of my lodge and my district with only the occasional glance as to the Commonwealth. I would discuss this more and in greater detail but there are certain things that must remain unsaid.

When all was said and done there is a little disappointment that things have come to an end but, at the same time, there is anticipation for the next gathering (and not just because it will be at the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia which is a slightly easier commute). This is an experience that too few brothers are embracing and I hope that will change in the future as I look forward not just to the meetings that are close to home but also the ones that take me across the state. It really is just another part of what I enjoy about being a Mason.