My mother got me started.
‘Go outside and look for a four leaf clover.’
This was her way of getting a bookish child outside for a bit of fresh air and sunshine.
I can only suppose that one day I did find one and became intrigued by the fuss it caused.
I have an Irish heritage and people talked easily about “The luck of the Irish.” and “lucky four leaf clovers” My mother sang, “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.”
A lot of my childhood was spent head down, bottom up, duck diving in clover patches looking for amazing, attention grabbing “four leafs.”
‘Look Mum! Look! I found one.’
‘Good girl. Press it in your bible for safe keeping.’
We covered all bases in my family.
With adolescence serendipity came into play. Waiting for the bus and looking down I would find a four leaf clover staring back. Go for a walk and there, by the side of the path, would be a cheeky, “look at me” four leaf . I felt they were actually looking for me.
As a young adult, the work ethic kicked in.
Luck, it seemed, had nothing to do with anything. Hard work, persistence, organization and getting along with others seemed to be the keys to success.
‘You do know, don’t you, that they’re only mutant three leaf clovers?’
Of course I knew it but I also knew a good clover patch when I saw one. There always seemed to be a little voice that said, ‘Might as well have a look.’
These days, on odd occasions, I still look for, and find, four leaf clovers but now I only pick some of them. It’s enough to know they are there. If I know of someone who would find one appealing, lucky, amusing or fortuitous I might pick one and put it in a card for them. If I locate one, I might leave it and steer someone nearby so they can have the thrill of “discovering” it.
Do people think I am weird, quirky, eccentric? Probably all of the above though no-one has ever refused a four leaf clover when I have given them one.
As for five leaf clovers. They…are a completely different story.