I was born at 2:37 in the morning. For some reason that fact has stuck with me all these years. Is that normal? Do you know what time you were born?
Maybe I held onto those digits because, as a proud, tutu-wearing junior ballerina, I was never given a jersey number the way young athletes are. My husband Zack took 29 from his dad when playing soccer, frisbee, basketball, etc. My brother Eames always used 31 in honor of the great Barry Bonds. I didn’t have a jersey number, but I did have a mother who very clearly remembered the moment I entered the world. So, ever since I was young, any time a 237 has winked at me from a clock it’s always given me the warm fuzzies.
Recently, as I have delved into the world of meditation and mindfulness, this little ritual has evolved into an intention-setting practice. Now, any time I see the number 237 out in the world, I interpret it as a reminder from the universe to invite the wide-eyed childlike version of myself to sit on the lap of the adult woman currently steering the machine.
Being a full-time mom to an 11-month-old girl has given me a front row seat to the wonder, joy, and determination of childhood. Every day I am amazed by the amount of delight simple things bring to Felicity – like blowing bubbles or crossing paths with a “dog-dog.” And I am inspired by her hunger to master elusive new skills – like putting puzzle pieces in place or climbing into her stroller. She gives me so many glimpses into the wholeheartedness that we were all born to embody.
I rambled on about this ‘237’ quirk while on a walk with my new friend Stella last weekend after she confessed her obsession with finding heads-up pennies.
[Sidebar: Stella is one of those unexpected gifts God drops into your life when you least expect it. Recently, I moved back to Sacramento after being away for 10 years. And I was confident that my beloved network of lifelong gal pals would be all that I needed in this new season of life. But then, Stella “Starchild” came out of nowhere with her big open heart and passion for creativity and community building. And now I know we too will be lifelong gal pals. Her friendship is a reminder to me that life is better when we to stay open to new experiences and opportunities, like our precious babes, rather than buckle down into mid-life survival mode.]
During our stroll through downtown Sacramento, Stella, baby Felicity, and I were canopied with glorious gold and ruby colored October trees. Brahms lullaby played on the iPhone to ensure our giddy chatter wouldn’t interfere with Felicity’s stroller nap. It was a delightful afternoon. When Stella found a heads-up penny halfway through our walk, we laughed hysterically as if God was chiming in, “Love you both! Glad you are enjoying the weather!” Later on, when I checked my watch to make sure Stella wasn’t late to pick up her nephew from school… guess what time it was. Yes. It was 2:37 PM. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but my jaw dropped halfway to the sidewalk.
The world is just so magical! And, because age is so skilled at numbing our magic-radar, I’ve decided that it truly can’t hurt to identify symbols and practices that have the power to remind me to “Wake up! Be present! Pay attention! Live large!” These are a few more triggers I’ve been using lately:
- Steam puffing 24/7 from the water tower outside my window points me to God’s constant presence in my life.
- Wearing red lipstick reminds me to be as fabulous as my grandmother, and to treat being a homemaker like performance art.
- The smell of tea tree oil helps me feel present in the moment and indifferent to sleep deprivation, social media, and other minor irritations.
- Sharing highlights of the day with Zack cultivates appreciation, humility, and joy in my soul.
I hope you already have triggers in your life that remind you of who you are when all the trappings are stripped away… but if you don’t, I dare you to pick one right now. There is no time like the present to invite into our lives a little mischief from the universe!