Awesome. There's no other word to describe it.
Once again, the Masonic Spring Workshop in Alberta was absolutely awesome. Keynote speaker, WBro. Chris Hodapp, author of "Freemasons for Dummies", "Templar Code for Dummies", "Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies", and "Solomon's Builders" as well as fellow Knight of the North, Chris' speech on Friday opened with a poke at Britney Spears where he certainly got our attention. After that, he described his journey at rebuilding a lodge and starting a new one, as well as creating Levant Preceptory, a true medieval depiction of Masonic Templarism. Chris was inspiring, funny, and entertaining, and I most especially enjoyed the conversation over scotch in my lodge's hospitality suite on Friday.
The talk in all the hospitality suites and at the pub was how well Bro. Hodapp was able to "set the tone" in a positive direction for the whole workshop. Everyone was in a great mood and lots of ideas were exchanged. Lots of laughs.
While I normally don't make it out for the Saturday morning sessions, I did make an afternoon one put on by Workshop Chairman, Bruce Zawalski on the ancient Scottish Masonic "Kirkwall Scroll". He provided some excellent scholarly work and challenged us to make our own conclusions on whether the scroll was a lecture board or floor mat and what it was for.
As I implied, the deep late night conversations over scotch are really what it's all about--meeting fellow Masons from around the province and talking about Freemasonry, mostly in a spiritual-esoteric sense. One late night talk by the lobby fire with an old friend about comparing Zen Buddhism with Masonry was most enlightening.
The senior officers from my lodge were there and it was just a great bonding experience for us as well.
There was a wonderful Masonic spirit in the air. Even taking a personal walk along the mountain paths to one of the most spectacular views you'll ever see, hanging out with the fauna, all helped me reconnect with the Divine. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining.
Next year, Bro. Craig (our DDGM) and I are planning a pre-workshop ski trip to Banff if anyone is interested. We went skiing the day the workshop started, and I got a nasty sun burn which is now making me look like a clown.
Next year's workshop features many things, but one new idea is "Masonic Idol" where brethren get 2 minutes to deliver a bit of initiation ritual of their choice and they'll be judged on passion, accuracy, and other aspects.
We'd better see more of you come next year.
A big thanks to RWBro. Craig Shutt for the drive down, the skiing, beers, and impeccable snoring, Bro. Bruce Zawalski for chairing and putting on a most amazing weekend and to Bro. Mitch Cammidge for being really entertaining throughout and for hanging out with me very late Saturday/Sunday morning.