Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The luck just outside our door

My mother has this strange, magical and occasionally infuriating ability to find four-leaf clovers. I suspect it's her superpower. She can be walking through a parking lot or down a city street, glance at a patch of grass and Bam! Four-leaf clover. She's been doing it all my life.

Over the years, she has taken to picking and pressing them, keeping them as reminders of places she's been. Sometimes she finds so many that she gets distracted, and sometimes it drives Dad a little crazy,* even though he generally finds it endearing, her looking for napkins to press them in, writing on it when and where she found it and bringing them home. There are napkins with pressed four-leaf clovers around the house, in books, in drawers and around her office desk.

Mom was visiting a few weeks ago and went out back in the morning to sit at the picnic table with her coffee and read, as she likes to do. Our backyard is now filled with flowering clover, which we have neglected to mow, partly out of laziness and partly because we like it, and its bee-friendliness. Some days it's positively buzzing.

Mom sat down and started to read. Within seconds, she was distracted. One. Two four-leaf clovers.

"I have to stop this," she said, "it's insane. Oh, for heaven's sake, there's another one!" She hadn't even gone into the clover patch yet - she was still standing next to it.

I went and got her a paper towel to press them.

"Can you see them?" she asked. I looked carefully, and no. Not for the life of me. It's definitely her superpower, not mine.

"It's like the pattern just jumps out at me. See? Here's another one. That's four. Dammit. I'm going to have to go inside, or I'll never stop."

It's a little comforting that I seem to come by my OCD-ish tendencies honestly.

As for me... I've been busy. Very busy. Working. Writing. Teaching. Playing. Going a little crazy with the Busy, trying not to drop any balls that are too fragile to hit the ground, catching others after the first bounce.

But you know what? I have house full of love and a backyard full of luck. It'll all bee fine.

* This might also be partly because he can't find them; this is a man who can spot a deer in a far-away field while driving on the interstate at 70mph.

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