A St. Patrick’s Day inspired throwback post from September 2013.
I have found multiple four-leaf clovers in my backyard, and that is undeniably awesome, whether you’re superstitious or not. I have them all taped onto index cards with the date I found them. Hooly has one such card inside her baby book. My yard is clearly fertile ground for special goodness.
This used to be my story. Until today.
Today I went into the yard to cut rosemary for dinner, and I scanned the overgrown garden as I am apt to do.
A-ha! I spot one.
And another. And another. And another…
Crap. No one is this lucky.
Then I notice new growth of a distinctly different plant in another part of the garden–fluffy patches of what I can best describe as real clover, shamrock clover, that is (all three-leafed of course), and the somber, unlucky realization sets in.
I have been collecting imposter weeds on index cards since 2009.
A member of the clover family at best, but certainly not a shamrock by any means. Undeniably disappointing, whether you’re superstitious or not.
But here’s the thing. Something good happened after finding every one of my four-leaf fake clovers. Not immediately after, but within a month or two. And not just front-row parking spot good. Big stuff, like getting my first teaching job, falling in love, seeing the first healthy Hooly sonogram.
That’s called a coincidence, someone tells me.
And that’s probably the truth. It’s not like I’m suggesting that clover alone, in any shape or form, has mystical powers.
But every time I found what I believed to be a four-leaf clover, I started looking for something good to happen. My outlook shifted. I became positively expectant. And there is power somewhere in that.
After all, our lives pivot on perceptions. We see what we want to see, and that’s what we go looking for.
When I went out to the backyard today, the voice in my head said, Look for a four-leaf clover. There will be one today, and you could really use it right now.
And after I had my moment of feeling duped and deflated, that phrase came back into my head. You could really use it right now.
And it became clear. It isn’t the four-leaf clover I need right now, it is the feeling that comes after finding one. What I need right now is hope. That’s what’s been missing lately. That’s what I was really looking to find out there in the garden.
So I guess it doesn’t matter then, that my carefully collected good omen leaves have turned out to be not what I thought they were. Because, fake or not, they still renewed my hope. They gave me good intentions to put out into my world.
And I may be confused about most everything, but I’m pretty sure that our best bet in this life is to just keep sending out into the universe that which we hope to get back.
So, for now at least, I will hold on to my index cards. Not because they’re lucky, but because of how they will remind me.