22: A Midwinter Night’s Dream

I woke up to a dream this morning.

I’d never been compelled to search for meaning in numbers before. “Da Vinci Code” and numerology notwithstanding, I am still not sure that I am, even now. Last night, I had a conversation with someone about the number 42. That was a tough birthday, one in which I finally made the realisation that I was old. Everyone that was born the day I was legally able to buy alcohol was now able to legally buy alcohol. On a more profound note, apparently, it’s the “Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” (from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). I didn’t know that. All I knew was that it was the number worn and retired by Ronnie Lott, one of my favourite football players of all time, playing defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers. It’s also the number forever retired by Major League Baseball, worn by one of my favourite baseball players – Jackie Robinson – playing for one of my all time favourite teams – the “Boys of Summer” aka the Brooklyn Dodgers. Becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues, the iconic Robinson is a true hero. Mariano Rivera, the great closer for the New York Yankees, was the last to ever wear the iconic number 42. But that’s not what I dreamed about.

Of course, the number 13 has always played a significant role each year of my life. I was born on the 13th on the other side of the globe, outside a tiny village (now a small town) in India, in rural Kerala. If it were possible to like or love a number, I liked this one. It was an odd number; and I grew up feeling like an odd fellow. But that’s not what I dreamed about.

I was transported back in time, sitting in the ballpark of an early Spring game, the season brand new with all its possibilities still possible. And depending upon the inning, the park was different. I was sitting at Fenway Park in Boston. I also sat at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, and Camden Yards in Baltimore.

I was not alone. Throughout the game, sitting alongside me at each ballpark, watching the game with an intent as strong as mine, was my sister’s daughter, i.e. my three-year-old niece Beatrix, who beckoned me to visit Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Her parents were diehard Cardinals fans, and because of them, she had watched every game of every World Series they were in, most of which, they won. Our game had gone into extra innings, and by the 18th, we were sitting alongside the first base line at Busch, she was a young woman, 21 years old. Starting out as the little girl I knew, with each inning, she grew a year older. When we were in Los Angeles, she’d comment on the team colours, saying “Dodger blue” in a way only a three-year-old could say, cute with a smile and twinkle in her eye and a bounce in her voice, forever etched in my heart and mind. For much of the games, we talked about the history of the game and the strategy behind it. And sometimes for some of the innings, her little brother August joined us, enjoying the games as well. In the 18th, Ryne Sandburg hit a home run and the Cubs beat the Cardinals. It was a perfect afternoon. For Bea, it would have been more perfect had the Cardinals won. It was a perfect dream.

I awoke with a smile, my dog Taylor licking my face, beckoning for a walk. The first news on my Facebook newsfeed was the birth of a friend of mine’s little girl announcing to the Facebook world her name… Beatrix. Aside from Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill and Beatrix Potter, the famous author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, I’d never known a Beatrix until my niece was born. And now my friend had one too.

I love the name. I love my niece.

And this all brings me back to numbers, specifically the number 22.

  • On 12/22/08, I was crossing Damen Ave in Chicago by the Damen/Milwaukee/North six-corner intersection on my way to the Damen el stop across the street when I was hit by a car going 30 mph.
  • On 12/22/11, my niece Beatrix was born.
  • On 10/22/14, I made a significant life decision, resigning from a job and company that I loved, leaving behind people that I loved.
  • On 10/22/14, later that day, my nephew August was born, Bea’s little brother.
  • Beatrix and August’s father’s birthday is 2/2. My sister’s birthday is 6/6 (which of course is her kids birthdays 22 and 22 plus her husband’s 2/2). They are a numerologist’s dream.

Over the last six years, the number 22 keeps popping up, those dates and four events being the most significant. Of course, it’s also true that you only notice things when you’re looking for it. (I didn’t realize Jeep made yellow Wranglers until I bought one years ago, afterwhich I couldn’t avoid seeing yellow Wranglers. There were so many.)

22 is considered the “most powerful of all the numbers. Those with a Life Path number 22 have great spiritual understanding, and ability to apply knowledge in a practical way and achieve enormous success.”

“The Master Number 22 symbolizes the principle of precision and balance. When it senses its full capacity as a ‘Master Builder’, it can achieve what is hardly imaginable. The 22 can turn the most ambitious of dreams a reality. It is potentially the most successful of all numbers.”

My niece and nephew are destined for great things.

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