From the Master of Kadosh (May, 2009)

posted May 15, 2015, 1:14 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 15, 2015, 1:17 PM ]
The month of May is here. May is named for Maia, the eldest of the seven daughters of Atlas, and one of the Pleiades (seven sisters), from Greek mythology. In astronomy, the Pleiades is an open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus.
 During this month, we celebrate a number of historic events.
 May 5 is Cinco de Mayo ("The fifth of May" in Spanish), the day in 1862 when the Mexican Army under General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French Army under General Charles de Lorencez at Puebla. In the movies, the battle was fought by Mexican peasants with pitchforks and machetes but that part is folklore. Today, Puebla has over 1.4 million inhabitants and is the location of Volkswagen's North American manufacturing plant. It is located about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City.
 On May 10, 1869, Leyland Stanford drove the last spike to join the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. Central started in Sacramento, California and worked its way eastward. Union started in Omaha, Nebraska and worked its way westward. They met in Promontory Summit, Utah to form the Transcontinental Railroad. Coast-to-coast travel in eight days by train replaced wagon trains and months-long voyages by sea.
 Incidentally, in addition to being a railroad tycoon, Leyland Stanford served as California's governor and US Senator. When his son, Leyland Stanford, Jr., died of typhoid as a teenager in 1884, Stanford and his wife Jane donated $20 million to the formation of Stanford University, as a memorial to their only child.
 Car enthusiasts look forward to the Indianapolis 500 on or around Memorial Day. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 and the first race ran in 1911. Back in those days, every car had a driver and a mechanic. The mechanic monitored the engine's oil pressure and watched for other cars coming up behind. The 93rd running will be held on Sunday May 24, 2009, marking the 64th consecutive year of uninterrupted occurrence.
 Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday celebrated on the last Monday before or on May 24 in honor of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning sovereign's birthday (Queen Elizabeth II). Several Canadian cities hold a parade in honor of the holiday, especially the city of Victoria, British Columbia. This holiday is also often celebrated with fireworks shows. Victoria Day unofficially marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of summer.
 Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 this year). It commemorates the American men and women who died while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, Memorial Day was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action. Many observed this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 pm ET. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff. Volunteers often place American flags on each gravesite at National Cemeteries, and on the gravesites of veterans at regular cemeteries.
 Sunday, May 10th is Mothers Day. My mother passed away many years ago. So on Mothers Day, I think about how well I have lived up to my mother's aspirations. Did I pursue a good education and do well in school? Have I developed myself spiritually? Did I set ambitious and worthy goals, and do what was necessary to reach them? Have I overcome the obstacles and challenges in life's path? Did I recognize, make use of, and appreciate the opportunities that came my way? Decades have passed, yet how strong my mother's influence.

Daniel Doornbos  -  Master of Kadosh