Taking in the Clover
The other day my son asked me why four leaf clovers are lucky. He's in first grade and we were standing at the edge of our pea gravel driveway waiting for his bus, looking at the clusters of clover growing around the wooden 4x4 fence post with holes in it he refers to as the "bumblebee apartments." The clover were waking up dewy-bright in varying greens with a little hot pink and gold and a few blossoms that look like they would be at home in a Dr. Seuss book. My son found his first four leaf clover a few weeks ago. It took him only 10 minutes after realizing nobody falls for a doctored up three-leafer. My sister taught me... "Just look at the patterns."
I told him they're lucky not because they lead to a pot of gold or anything material. They're lucky because it means you took a moment to really look at nature. It means that, even if it's hidden deep down, you know nature wants to converse with you and surprise you with something that will make you smile and feel a moment of joy even when you might be just waiting for the bus or picking up dog poop or bringing in the mail.
My Life in 10 Minutes writing class with Valley Haggard is much the same. We take 10 minutes of time to see what's there. What story appears out of the everyday. What surprise is waiting in that tale about your own life that you were sure you knew so well. And in every story there is a four leaf clover, and our words read out loud carry a life flow that I think we all feel.
I believe that the earth, like people, likes to be looked at and know that we can see her beauty even in the plain bits and weeds. Sister Mother Earth, as Saint Francis of Assisi called her, is always reaching out with gifts. I love an over the top floral garden and friends who can entertain and inspire me with their social media perfection but I smile at a four leaf clover the same as I do a rose. The clover, the rose, the story, they are all gifts that bring me in and I'm connected.
Sometimes it is painful because life has prickly weeds and the good flow that happens at the writers' table can bring forth those weeds and I have felt like I was going to choke on them but ultimately there is still delight for me. Delight because I never expected that a class to practice my writing would bring me so much closer to my real self and all around me. And that's lucky, for sure.
I live on a small farm in western Hanover with my lover-husband, children and dogs of varying ages and size, an elderly barn cat, some horses, a sassy pack chicken and nature. I usually spot between 2 and 8 four leaf clovers a day and like using those I pick to decorate book marks or letters to post. This year, I have decided to photograph, instead of pick, the little treasures.