On Four-Leaf Clovers

For several years during college I lived in a student-managed apartment complex.  It was unique in many ways, from the irrational electrical system (if you blew a fuse in one part of the apartment, the lights in the stairwell of a completely different building would go out) to the random kumquat trees that would drop fruit onto your head.  But one of the unique things about that complex was unknown to the majority of the residents.

Out past the garden, where the basketball course meets the lawn, was a four-leaf clover patch.


I have searched for four-leaf clovers my entire life.  I even remember the first time I found one.  I think I was eight, and it was just off of the sidewalk, two townhouses down from my apartment.  I was so excited to find it and, of course, picked it for luck.

My first year at the co-operative apartments I found the four-leaf clover patch, hiding innocently in the grass alongside the asphalt.  I rarely picked one of the clovers, instead I was content to watch them proliferate from a handful of four-leafs into a large patch dotted with five- and six-leaf clovers.

I don’t believe many people knew the patch was even there.  Barbeques were frequently held in that very spot, but I think the tenants were more interested in the carne asada (which was always quite good) and Pabst than the lawn beneath their feet.  They were too busy and simply weren’t looking for the amazing rarity that they trod all over.

Luck is funny that way.

One of the speakers at the bootcamp for this fellowship spoke of research done on luck.  A researcher had found that there was one crucial difference between people who self-identified as lucky versus the ones that did not: openness to possibility.

Now, I have never considered myself to be a lucky person.  In fact, I have often referred to my life as a comedy of errors, only I wasn’t laughing.  I was always too busy trying to pick up the pieces and put them back together again.

Needless to say, I was not happy to hear this assertion.  It is hard to hear somebody basically say: hey, you know all this shit you went through?  Your lack of opportunity?  Yea, it was your own damn fault.

I love fortune cookies.  Incidentally, this is a quote from Seneca, not Oprah Winfrey, Randy Pausch, or Denzel Washington.

I love fortune cookies. Incidentally, this is a quote from Seneca, not Oprah Winfrey, Randy Pausch, or Denzel Washington.

But, as I am wont to do, I stored the idea in the back of my mind, slowly turning it about as I spoke with people and watched their interactions with the world around them.  And I started seeing a pattern.

It looks like the bastard might be right.


I am watching chance meetings with random people turn into amazing opportunities for fundraising for this project.  This hasn’t happened just once.  This has happened five times in the last month.  I feel like I have been those drunk college students, stomping all over the four-leaf clover patch simply because I wasn’t looking for it and I am not certain how to feel about that.

I am not a full convert yet, but the facts are not adding up in my favor.   I think for the time being, I will attempt to keep my eyes open better to possibilities and opportunities that are presented to me every day and hope for the best.


2 thoughts on “On Four-Leaf Clovers

  1. It is very hard, sometimes, to look at the peelings and rotten fruit in your life and see it as fertilizer for the garden of tomorrow but if you don’t compost, it will remain garbage. So glad things are coming together for you and for this project!

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