Nature favours the number 3 in a fundamental way. There are three main types of stable particles: the proton, the neutron, and the electron. These are the three building blocks of atoms. All solid matter consists of atoms built entirely from these three particles. Scientists say that each proton and each neutron is built from smaller particles called quarks. How many quarks are there in a proton? You’ve guessed it. And in a neutron? Right again. Exactly three.
Looking at the visible world, there are three basic dimensions of space: height, width, and depth. According to string theory the universe operates with 10 dimensions, but this possibility is far too mind-boggling for me, I’m afraid.
There are three main types of matter: gaseous, liquid, and solid, as there are three main types of massive objects: planets, stars, and galaxies.
Exactly three years after arriving in Australia I look back, and am acutely aware of the fact that there are three time dimensions – past, future and present. And at last, I have discovered how vital it is to embrace the latter. ‘The Power is in the Present’ reads the inscription on an exquisite mug given to me by two of my dearest friends during this past year. Present or present. Whichever way you look at it, there is power in this phrase. And tea tastes just perfect in this butterfly-adorned porcelain mug.
But back to the magical number. Even folktales reflect the importance of the number 3: ‘Three Blind Mice’, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’, offer itself.
I recently read about the crucial Mabo decision (being totally intrigued by Australia’s history): On the 3rd day of June 1992 the High Court of Australia handed down this landmark decision, marking a turning point for reconciliation. The decision was named after Eddie Mabo, who challenged the Australian legal system and successfully fought for the recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples as the traditional owners of their land. It sure did take a while – definitely not as quick as one, two, three.
Moreover I’ve always been convinced that most music with three beats in a bar, equals “feeling good, feeling positive” (thanks Schalk Bezuidenhout); makes most feet itch, at the very least; and can even beam you to a grand era of ballroom dancing. Why this is so, is a difficult one to answer, if true at all.
In many religions around the world the number 3 is used as a sacred number. In many rituals people perform actions three times. Even the angel world regards the number 3 highly. Apparently angel number 3 invites you to be more vocal and social with people; encourages you to start living a life of joy, positivity, and spontaneity. Did you know that your wishes and prayers have already been answered, she/he whispers.
So there you go. The number 3 should never be discounted.
As during the previous year, my latest journey around the sun had plentiful yin and yang. Had it not been for the coronavirus, it would have been a great year. Let me list 10 things that stand out:
- Spending my 60th birthday with our family on a game farm in Limpopo, South Africa.
- Saying goodbye to mom in Gansbaai for the last time, on a cold Tuesday morning in August.
- Completing my first Parkrun walk (and I’ve done one every weekend ever since).
- Rocket Man in Rod Laver Arena, breathing the same air as Elton John for a short while; and next door, at the MCG – a few months later – witnessing the Aussie women thrashing the Indian side in the T20 World Cup Final.
- Realising that I will miss the fluty, carolling song of the magpies so very much if I ever had to leave Australia for good.
- Pushing through with the composition of The Venetian Sonnets despite a mallet finger, sustained during a PJ pants malfunction.
- Seeing countless beautiful new places – Goschen, Bellarine, Moama, Mount Remarkable, Mamray Creek, Lake Gillie, Bunda Cliffs, the Great Australian Bight, Streaky Bay, Coffin Bay, Fowler’s Bay, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Barwon and Cumberland.
- Sitting an unforgettable Christmas Day out at the desolate, sweltering Nullarbor roadhouse (inside our equally sweltering Fortuner) due to a road closure after a fatal accident.
- Visiting our children, grandies and South African friends in February, barely making it back in time to be locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Finally finding a funky, friendly, first-rate hairstylist in Warrnambool.
My third year as an immigrant was a good year. Third time lucky. You see?
Here’s to the next 12 months then – embracing the foreign, continually seeking, living the adventure.