Seven (squared) years


The day was a Sunday. It was early morning. The mother-to-be went into labor and was taken to the hospital. Her husband was at the hospital, but the labor took awhile, and the cows needed to be milked, so he left to tend to their biorhythms. When the mother-to-be found out he wasn’t there, she refused to have the baby until he got back. And so, a few hours later, after he got back, she gave birth to a boy — all 10 pounds, 8 and a half ounces of him. Being a Sunday, and being delivered before church finished, his birth was apparently announced that same Sunday in service — to the groan of every woman in the sanctuary.

That is the story, pieced together from the stories I remember being told as I grew up (unless, of course, I managed to combine elements of the birth of my siblings with mine — oops — yes, the story is about my birth).

I was born a second son, and became the middle of three children. And a lot has happened in the intervening years. We still stay in contact, even though in three different states. And we still have an interesting sense of humor. For instance, see the below birthday cards — which are part and parcel of the type of cards we have exchanged through the years.

CarlyYear20001 CarlyYear20002 CarlyYear20003 CarlyYear20004

We siblings created a lot of imaginary worlds out of the terrain around our house on the farm. As I think about seven squared, I realize that many of mine featured the number seven. I even created a whole country of heptagonia — a seven-sided country with seven rivers. After my dad built us a circular house I even started designing house ideas for myself — seven-sided.

I always seemed to be good with structural things of that type — where “world-building” was concerned.  In writing fiction I could design backgrounds — it is a plot with tension that always eludes me in making the proper story. I remember one world where I designed a calendar of seven week months, a currency based on sevens, etc.

People make a big deal of the mile-stone birthdays — usually ending in zero. But that is so deca-centric. For those interested in the number seven, like some of my designed worlds, seven squared would be a very special year.

At least that is my plan — a reason to make every year special, and so there will be a lot of special plans today.


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