So you turn 28 today? It might seem, on the surface, that this would qualify as your classic "ho-hum" type birthday. You're old enough that each one doesn't seem like the focal point of the year anymore. It doesn't entail any new legal rights or obligations like 16, 18, or 21. And it's not a nice round number like 25 or 30. So you might think this is just a regular old birthday. But you'd be wrong! Seriously wrong.
Just think of how important 28 years is:
In Jewish tradition the sun is blessed every 28 years to signify when the sun is at the same place, on the same day of the week, and the same time of day as when it was created.
The Hearst Castle took 28 years to build.
Madrid's Royal Palace, the largest in Europe, also took 28 years to build.
Wikipedia, that great repository of collective wisdom, tell us that "28 (twenty-eight) is the natural number following 27 and preceding 29." So that seems pretty special.
In math, 28 is the second perfect number (perfect!) as it is related to the Mersenne prime. It is a happy number. It is the ninth and last number in early Indian magic square of order 3. So that's pretty terrific.
Saturn takes about 28 years to orbit the sun.
In Hebrew Numerology, 28 means "power" or "energy."
Humans commonly have 28 teeth.
In Astrology, the 28-year cycle marks significant turning points or sections in the course of a person's development in life. So look forward to a significant year, as far as astrologically-related personal life development goes.
Here's an interesting tidbit: 28 is approximately the number of grams in an ounce, and used as such in the illegal drug trade. Right on!
And, finally, wikipedia makes a special note in its section on the number 28 to inform us that the common name for the parrot 'Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus', widely distributed in Western Australia and South Australia, has a call that sounds like "wenniate". If anyone is able to derive the significance of this in relation to the number 28, please enlighten us all.
Let's turn now to the history of this fine day in human events:
NPR informed me this morning that the prophet Muhammad died on this day in 632.
Other deaths of note: Thomas Paine (great American revolutionary), President Andrew Jackson, 14th century Japanese Noh actor Kanami, wonderful poet (I really mean this) Gerard Manley Hopkins (if you want to be inspired by God and language, read this), Sir George Mallory of Mt. Everest fame, and psychologist Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.
You share your birthday with architect Frank Lloyd Wright, composer Robert Schumann, Nazi physician Karl Genzken, first ladies Barbara Bush and Ida McKinley (coincidence? or fate?), Seinfeld's Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller), Joan Rivers (coincidence? or fate?), Dutch cyclist Ad Tak, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Kanye West.
Finally, take pride, as well, that today is both World Oceans Day, and World Brain Tumor Day.
All in all, this should be a great day for you, Jamie. So happy birthday. I love you and I am so grateful you are my wife. You are smart, funny, beautiful, kind, loving, patient, and, now, you are also 28 years old. The perfect combination!