As we grow up we change, although we would swear otherwise when young. Childhood seems to last forever, but youth is ephemeral and the wisdom of years, as they say, only comes with the time it takes, years.
How could we imagine, appreciate or understand the way our elders felt at a time when 30-something was already over the hill? Fortunately, there is nothing comparable, you just have to get there yourself; it comes soon enough.
Life is like that, it happens.
In leaps and bounds and multiples of seven we go from playpen to playground, to playing the field, to playing it safe and, sometimes, to not playing at all if we’re not careful.
When we’re young we can dance all night, study whilst listening to music, burn the candle at any end, but by the time we’re in our 50s, things change again and, like it or not, reality begins to kick in.
Family becomes more important and past memories more frequent. We begin to see and reflect upon the different stages of our life.
Nachmanides (in 12th century Spain) had a beautiful Kabbalistic concept that seven is the number of the natural world.
There are seven days in the week, seven notes on the musical scale, the seven deadly sins, seven continents, seven colours of the rainbow, seven directions (left, right, up, down, forward, back and centre) and not to forget, seventh heaven.
In Europe people believed that the seventh son/daughter of the seventh son/daughter would have magical powers, whilst Latin Americans believed that they would become werewolves, but they all agree upon the significance of the number seven.
Can a seven-year-old be compared to a new-born baby? Is the life of a 14-year-old like that of a 21-year-old and again, just seven years later, who will that person be on the cusp of turning 30, and so on and so forth?
The number seven marks dramatic changes in our appearance and persona – possibly having a lot to do with the seven-year itch, you either grow together; or apart.
The important thing is to grow and adapt and keep moving forward.
For me this doesn’t mean trying to drink from the fountain of youth but to welcome the wisdom of age, whilst making every second of every second count. Again, it comes back to numbers.
According to 2011 government data, Japan has more than 50,000 centenarians and according to Dr William Cortvriendt MD’s book, Living a Century or More, we too can aspire to this longevity.
So let’s embrace the future whilst remembering not only to count our blessings but also our sevens, and make them one to remember!