The turn of the new year is often a time of reflection. The holidays have begun to wind down; the bustle of the Christmas shopping season has ended, and the relatives and friends who came to visit have returned from whence they came. This (often abrupt) return to normalcy provides the perfect catalyst for introspection and reflection, timed well with the passing of another revolution around the sun.
As we look forward to a bright new year as men and Masons, let us not forget to spend time reflecting on those we love, as well as those we have lost. The latter was the subject of the Rob Morris-penned poem “New Year’s Reflections,” which I have reproduced in part here. To brethren wheresoever dispersed, I wish you a wonderful, happy, and prosperous new year full of peace, prosperity, and reflection. -JR
Shall we see it, loving Brothers,
Ere another New Year’s day?
Shall we join those loving others,
Whom the past year tore away?
Shall we change this toil and drudge,
For the bright Celestial Lodge,
Shall we tread that one more station,
Take that fast and best degree,
Whose consummate “Preparation”
Is to set the spirit free?
Lay our bodies off, that then
Souls unburdened may go in,
Shall we find beyond the river, —
Shall we find beyond the tomb, —
Those who left us, not forever,
Lett us till we, too, should come?
Shall we learn the long-lost word
That admits a man to God , —
Then, be zealous, loving Brothers,
While your lives so swiftly tend;
Emulate those faithful others
In the prizes they have gained;
O’er the river, on the shore,
They are happy evermore, —
Toil , — your wages rich are ready;
Bear , — your burdens all shall cease;
Give , — however poor and needy;
Pray , — and God will give release
From this bitter toil and drudge
To the bright Celestial Lodge