As a kid I lived on a farm; one day my sister told me to go out in the pasture and find a four-leaf clover. Of course I was curious and asked why, to which she responded they bring good luck. Well, in hindsight I realize that the best thing to do with a kid that’s bored is give them a task they can do on their own and open the door for them. Life has a whole different context when you live it yourself and you’re on a mission in the field of clover. On my search for the illusive four-leaf clover I got to thinking.
What’s wrong with three-leaf clover and really, what’s wrong with two-leaf clover? Is it the clover itself or the four-leaf configuration that brings luck? Could I get the same luck from four three-leaf clovers as I could from three four-leaf clovers? Hey as a kid I was willing to resort to arithmetic if I had to.
Ambling through a vast cow pasture with no cows might seem like a lonely adventure, but rocks and trees and plants are dependable friends. They believe everything you say, they don’t argue and they don’t judge. I can only conclude that they must be highly intelligent because they are so gracefully social and polite. I once knew a rock that thought he was a ship and he was. Every time I stood on him the pasture transformed into an ocean and I was subjected to the relentless adventure of our imagination.
It wasn’t until I put some mileage on my mission that I realized what the deal was about four-leaf clovers and good luck. As a kid the realization hit me like a ton of bricks and the cascade of awareness still educates me.
Three or four hours and a dozen patches of clover later no luck, and I was about to carry on to the next patch when it hit me. And what hit me was excruciatingly sublime for a six year-old kid to experience and an experience I have never fully been able to put to words. It’s not the clover that brings good luck, and quite simply, there is no clover and there is no luck without you. Let’s just say that in that moment, I was the clover and I was the luck. My effort to discover “it,” to believe and to search, made me “it.”
I felt it right to my bones with perfect clarity and understanding and in that moment I looked up from the ground. Everywhere I looked was different—the clouds, the sky, the trees, even the rolling hills of the pasture—were absolutely beautiful. I could feel everything in its absolute beauty and all that beauty was me, in me seeing it and experiencing it all, was me. I was beautiful.
Of course as a kid running in the house to share my epiphany, things got a little complicated. It’s hard to explain to someone how beautiful I am and to ask someone how beautiful they are. The confusion of it is stifling when as a kid you assume that big people must already be aware of this and you wonder why they’re playing dumb like they don’t know. If you’re a parent and even if you’re an adult I highly recommend teaching this to children; it’s not something you want them figuring out before you do.
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Image of farmboy running through clover field courtesy of Shutterstock