It’s funny how getting what you want can make you feel strange – almost scared. Ever since I discovered my uncle was a Mason and understood what it meant I’ve wanted to become one. Now I’m sitting behind the wheel of Uncle’s old battered Land Rover heading for the Lodge and my first Masonic meeting. I’m an Entered Apprentice, and I’m struggling with emotions I never thought I’d even recognise.
It seemed natural, Uncle being a Mason. There was the odd joke about it from family at Christmas but I always had a child’s fascination for it. Mystic symbols, secret meetings, the knowledge of the ages – that kind of thing. I was excited, intrigued, and more than a little in awe. It was natural that I should try to become a Mason myself. When I took over the family shop when Dad died, and subsequently moved it to rural country when Mum went, I was approached and eagerly accepted the invitation.
Scotland doesn’t have a lot of Masonic lodges, and I wouldn’t expect one to be where I was headed now. As I drive I’m struck again by how beautiful but desolate so much of what I now call my home country can be. It’s late afternoon in late autumn, and it’s dark, and there’s mist, and the road is not a major one. Like so many of Scotland’s minor roads, it’s been cut to pieces by tractors and farm equipment and the broken and uneven soil beneath us is frozen, making it rough going, even for the Landy.