Tidings from the West
Tidings from the West Brethren,
The Autumnal Equinox has come and gone signifying the end of summer fun and the beginning of the preparation for the long winter. On the bright side, Lodge activities are picking back up for the second half of the year. While visiting the Redwood Forest last month, I spent a lot of time viewing/experiencing some of the true wonders of nature. Among the most fascinating was the redwood tree itself. With no tap root for a support system, it uses an elaborate network of roots that widely spreads just below the surface of the ground. They are resistant to fire due to the bark not containing any sap or pitch, just mostly water, a true element of life. We came across a tree that was named The Brotherhood Tree. The sign next to it read “Dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man, All Races, Creeds, and Colors”. It’s height was 297 ft and 19 ft in diameter. When it was named back in the early 1900’s, I am relatively sure there was no masonic reference intended. But, as I stood there in awe of this magnificent wonder of life, I couldn’t help but see a masonic reference intended or not. The Redwood is truly a giant organization (Freemasonry, a Brotherhood of Man) with several parts that work in harmony , each nothing without the other. The bark, void of sap and pitch (hypocrisy & deceit) resists attack from wildfire and holds life sustaining water (Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth) that serves to nourish and strengthen the core. The root system (the history, ritual teachings, and obligation) depends on the collective work for its several parts to maintain the foundation of such a massive structure or it would surely collapse. In both cases, I guess it is easy to see why they have lasted so long, endured well through time and will continue to do so, maybe forever......
Kevin K. Bailey