I Found a 4-leaf Clover

I remember the day pretty clearly.  I was about 7 years old, riding my bike down the sidewalk from my house to my friend Johnny’s house, who lived at the far end of our street.  As I was riding, I looked at the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.  While moving at a pretty good speed, I swear that I saw a 4-leaf clover.  I was still on my bike, so I stopped went back to the spot, threw myself down in the clover patch and started combing through clovers in my search.

I think back today of the confidence with which I plunged myself into that clover patch.  I saw the 4-leaf clover.  I was absolutely sure of it.  I was as sure of it as of anything I had ever been at that point in my life.  I have no idea how long I searched that little clover patch.  I know it was a while.  It’s funny because I never remember myself as being particularly patient.  I don’t think anyone would have used that word to ever describe me.  But there I sat, searching through the clover patch because I was sure I had seen a 4-leaf clover.

How could I have?  Does the human eye have the ability to see that kind of detail from a moving bike?  That’s the great thing about kids.  They don’t know the limitations of the physical world yet, they just believe what they believe.  Or in this case, what they think they saw.  I was sure I saw a 4-leaf clover.  I don’t even remember how big a deal a 4-leaf clover was to me at that age, but somehow, I knew that it was a good thing to find one.  I knew it was a big enough deal that I spent my playtime on the ground looking for one instead of going down the street to my friend’s house.

I had some idea of a 4-leaf clover representing luck. I had been told that I was named around some Irish folklore for luck, and I vaguely remember my mom telling me that I had always been lucky.  Looking back now, I realize that I may not know the entire story of my birth.  I know I was premature and had to have a complete blood transfusion due to jaundice.  It was 1968, the procedure was a lot more delicate than it is today.  But obviously, I survived to grow into whatever I am today.

So there I sat, on my knees, spreading out the clovers in front of me in my neighbor’s yard.  And buried amongst all the other thousands of clovers, there was the 4-leaf clover that I had seen.  I want to say it took me somewhere around 15 minutes to find it, but it could have been 1 minute.  Again, I wasn’t a very patient child, but I do remember looking for a decent amount of time until I found the clover.  I plucked it and took it home to my mom, who put it in the family bible.  I remember her being shocked at me finding one, and how I claimed to have seen it from my bike while riding by.  I don’t remember anything she said that day, but I’m sure there was something again about me being lucky.  Looking back, it has been true, I have been lucky.  In many areas of my life, I’ve been what I can only say has been lucky.  And the saying about luck favoring the prepared has nothing to do with a 7-year-old boy finding a 4-leaf clover from his speeding bike.  But such has been the luck in my life.  It’s been ancillary.  Unimportant.  I’m lucky at finding parking spots, not winning things,  As a matter of fact, I haven’t ever won anything of significance.

But on that day, I knew I saw a single four-leafed clover, and I followed my belief and stuck with it until I found it in the clover patch.  I’ve treated most things in my life with that type of naive faith, and so far, it’s turned out pretty well.

I live my life with a belief in luck.  It’s almost a superstition in my family, but that belief that we are lucky permeates my life and makes me lucky.  So am I lucky, or am I just lucky because I think I am?  I’m not sure, and I try not to provoke whatever it is that feeds me luck.  I’ll even argue with my best friend over the whole concept of luck, him not believing, me living proof.

What else could it be?  It sure wasn’t talent or skill.

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Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “I Found a 4-leaf Clover

  1. Amazing, you and I are similar. I too have had a life based on luck, with a shaky beginning at birth. My kids laugh at me when I say I know I’ll win the lottery one day; I just don’t know when. (They have the party planned, but are still waiting.) I wrote a 50 year slightly fictionalised memoir about my lucky life only to realise, yesterday, it is too sweet, too nice, too Pollyanna-ish to be published because it sounds unbelievable; even the parts that are totally true. (Sorry, I realise Pollyanna-ish is NOT a word, but I can’t think of any real terminology to describe my life work better.)

    Oh, and 4-leaf clovers? I used to think my boyfriend was magical years ago, when he would bring me a 4-leaf all the time. He’s been my husband almost 28 years and still does. But, him and me, we do see those lucky leaves when we are walking past them. They just jump out at you. I even found a place near the border of our property with a patch of an inordinate number of 4-leaf clovers.

    That night I dreamt of making a fortune by drying them and selling them on line inside inspirational cards for birthdays, Christmas, St Pat’s Day…whatever. When I went back to the spot one lucky rabbit had gobbled the entire clover patch; which was unlucky. I find them too. I do an Oprah inspired ‘I can do this’ quote and look. Supposedly there’s 1 four leafed clover for every 10 000 of the 3-leafers. But, some patches are luckier than others, just as some writers are luckier than others.

    I sit down and look, waving my hands over the clover for 10 or 15 minutes every now and then. I have done all my life. It’s a kind of meditation. I find one about a third of the time and make a wish on it. When I re-read some of my old favourite books, old 4-leaves fall out. If they’re intact, they’re still lucky. If they fall apart, that wish wasn’t meant to be. This is according to my own weird logic; there’s nothing scientific about many or any of my thoughts though.

    I also win things in raffles, competitions and scratch tickets. (My personal record is 5 winning tickets in a row, though mostly they were just another free ticket and I didn’t end up with more than $100.) I went to a Cancer Council fundraiser with 200 people in attendance and stole half of the six prizes, including the main one. It was a pair of designer bamboo pyjamas, but I was looked on with dagger eyes by women who wanted to slaughter me for getting them. When the lucky door prize came to me as well I was worried I wouldn’t get out of the hall alive, so I handed that back for a re-draw. A very old man was less than delighted when he unwrapped a gorgeous gift basket of lovely lavender products. My other prize was an ornate, gold rimmed tea-cup and saucer I still use.

    I am lucky, but I believe that it is like you said. If you think yourself lucky, you are. By the same token, if you think yourself rich, you are. If you think yourself clever, you are. I could go on and on, but this response is already too long. I really just wanted to say that getting up at ungodly hours and writing your 500-900 plus something words a day is really paying off. I like how you pen things. And, good luck to you.

    P.S. I hope I haven’t spoiled things for you regarding your childhood discovery of the clover on a pushbike flypast. You were probably just destined to find it, to find luck and have the sense of being lucky in your life. Now that’s a launch pad for a book, or at least a short story, isn’t it?


    1. I’m so glad you found my blog, Therese! Yes, great idea for at least a daily entry that should get made into a post, story, book, who knows. I have to digest your comment from the most recent comments to the first 🙂

      You’ve stumbled on to one of my favorite quotes – Henry Ford – “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” The power of my minds is incredible.

      However, I’m not lucky at winning things, but I think it’s because I don’t care to. I’d rather earn something than win it. It’s the chip on my shoulder from being the youngest child of three, “I can do it myself!!!” I am, however, lucky where it matters to me, in finding a parking spot. I’m an idiot savant when it comes to that.

      I’m so excited you found my blog, and I did get your email. Now that I know you’re watching, I’ll actually have to engage with my email list!


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