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Masonic News & Views - Focus
January 06, 2014
Greetings Brother,

It was a beautiful day here at the CowChows. It started out cold but by early afternoon the outside thermometer was tickling 60f/15c degrees. It was just too nice a day to stay inside even though I knew that the moment I stepped outside a yard tool of some sort would miraculously appear in my hand. But, I had to risk it. The sun was shining, the wind was calm. I could actually feel my cells willing me to cross that threshold. I did, and suddenly there was a gust of wind and I had a leaf rake in one hand, a shovel in the other, I nearly tripped over the wheelbarrow, and I felt something brush my cheek. The Lady BG is a mystical and magical sprite, and she can move very quickly.

So I set about raking leaves and digging things that chose the wrong place to grow. My muscles warmed to the task and I enjoyed that euphoric but brief sense of youthful strength that comes with manual and meaningless labor. I was working along the wooden fence that separates our property from our neighbor's when a shifting shadow caught my eye. I scanned the fence and found the shadow creeping just beneath the boards, and then raising my eye I discovered the clear green eye of another peering at me through a knothole about three feet high.

"Hello," I said.

The eyeball blinked.

"How are you today?" I asked.

The eyeball stared.

"My name's Tim," I said.

The eyeball pulled away, and then returned.

"What you up to?" I asked.

"Nothin'," came a small voice.

"Yeah, me too," I said. "My name's Tim. What's yours?

"Focus," he said.

"Excuse me. What is it?" I asked.

"Focus," he repeated.

"Your name is Focus?"

The eyeball blinked and went up and down.

"Is that a nickname?" I asked.

The eyeball.....shrugged?

"Is Focus your real name? I asked.

The eyeball withdrew from the knothole and I thought he'd left, but then two small lips filled the space and in a much stronger and strident voice they said, "FO--CUS!!"

I felt for a moment as if his name only seemed odd to me because I wasn't concentrating sufficiently. Being properly chastised I responded, "Hi Focus, it's a very great pleasure to meet you."

The eyeball returned and I heard him ask, "Are you a stranger?"

"Well, in the technical sense that we have never been properly introduced I guess I am a stranger, yes." I answered.

"I'm not s'pposed to talk to strangers," he told me.

"I've always considered that to be a wise practice," I said

"What does 'popperly interduced' mean?" he asked warily.

"Well, that would be when someone who knows us both and knows us to be good guys would introduce us to one another. Or, maybe someone who knows me knows someone who knows you, and they introduce us to one another. Does that make sense?"

"I guess." he said. "Do you know my brother, Spencer?"

"No, I'm afraid I don't," I said.

"Do you know my friend, Ethan?"

"I'm sorry, I don't think so."

And so it went...did I know Aiden, Jacob, Sophia, Addison, Logan, Hailey...?

Finally, Focus let out an exasperated sigh and asked, "Do you know anybody?"

"Well, no Focus, I guess I don't. I guess we've been sort of busy," I said.

"I gotta go," he told me.

"I understand," I said.

His eyeball disappeared from the knothole leaving only a view of the green grass beyond. I heard his footsteps retreating from the fence as he shuffled through leaves. Then he stopped and his voice, a mix of stern and concern, came back to me over the fence, "Hey mister."

"Yeah, Focus," I responded.

"You should get out more," he said, and then he turned and ran down the hill towards home.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch



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