Friday, July 23, 2010

The object #10 4-leaf Clover

One of my talents is finding 4-leaf clovers. They are lucky, you know.

Summertime, Maplewood Street, Pocatello, Idaho. A long time ago. I would roll out of bed, pull on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and slip my brown, calloused feet into a pair of rubber sandals and pad into the kitchen. I'd pour out a bowl of Grapenuts, splash a little milk over the top and crunch, crunch, crunch my way through it, sitting on the back steps of the little house where we lived. Already, I could hear the high-pitched trill of summertime insects and smell the July heat, cooking the grass and the pavement.

My summertime world was a threadbare quilt, spread across the grass, under a weeping willow tree alive with ants and earwigs. My dolls and books surrounded me as I lay on my back gazing up through the willow branches into the clear blue sky. I'd roll to the edge of the quilt, eye-level with the grass and patches of clover and, with utmost concentration, search through the grass for the elusive mutants with 4, sometimes even 5 or 6, leaves. Months later, in the dead of winter, I would find the lucky clovers, carefully pressed between the pages of my books and a tiny, imaginary scent of summer would waft up from the page.

I still find them occasionally, though not from that closeup vantage point. My eyes were trained, as a child, to spot the lucky clovers and I see them, as if spotlighted, standing out from the surrounding grass and clover. I still put them in books and sometimes find them months or years later. I've benefited from all that good luck for a lot of years.


  1. I, too, find those lucky clovers... and am always amazed that others don't see them first. This spring I was walking with a friend by a well worn path in Concord, MA. All around us, kids and parents were watching a soccer match. Thousands of people go to that park every month... and pray for luck as they play on the towns's many fields. I, however, found 15 four leaf clovers, one for each girl on my daughter's softball team, as they readied themselves for their first game of a long summer season. Reality? They lost, but it was the first time most of them had ever held one of nature's wonders in their hands. That is true luck indeed.

  2. I always wanted to meet someone from Pocatella because I love the name. It just rolls out of your mouth!!! Wonderful writing and memories!

  3. I love your stories. They are genuine and true. They spark memories that we may hold from a similar feeling, sometimes long ago. Thank you for sharing these stories on your blog.

  4. That's one of the best things you've ever written, Terry -- a perfect little gem of an essay.

  5. What a wonderful ability -- really, a skill you honed, clearly. It makes me wonder -- have you always had the ability to see the hidden gems around you, or has the 4-leaf clover spotting trained you to use that ability in other areas of your life? This says something very lovely about you.