Taking things as you find them

Ten years ago I bought an old book, Burns’ Poetical Works, published in the late 1800s and edited by W. M. Rossetti, he of the pre-Raphaelite fame.

On rainy days, when I want to touch history or am feeling daring or silly, I’ll pull that old book down from the shelf and read the poems out loud, to practice my old Scottish brogue: the one I never had. Oh, and to marvel at the creative spelling of words in the days before typonese.

Flipping through the book this time, something fell to the floor.

A pressed, dried, four-leaf clover.

I picked it up gingerly; holding it to the light by the small stem. My fingers tingled.

The only four-leaf clovers I’ve seen have been in pictures or stuck in the centre of some Lucite fob thing or on skin as a tattoo.

Maybe it was fake. I looked for sign of glue under the super-duper, but not-ordered-from-the-back-of-a-comic-book magnifiers I have. No evidence whatsoever of any tampering with nature. It was an honest-to-goodness four-leaf clover.

Until that moment, I’m not sure I believed that four-leaf clovers actually existed.

Every page of this book has been flipped through many  times over the years. Why had it not fallen out before now? I put it down to physics: where the leaf sat in the book, the angle I held it at, how wide the pages were opened, the humidity in the room. All converged and were perfect in the moment when mixed with gravity. Voila! All fall down!

I wondered what leprechaun placed an Irish icon in a Scottish hero’s book. It is entirely possible that the wee folk traveled with their storytellers and arriving here in Canada, placed their good luck charms wherever a round of luck was sure to be needed.

I wondered what to do. I don’t keep dried flowers in the house, preferring to appreciate their beauty where they exist naturally in the great outdoors.

I pondered this teeny, tiny thing for a few minutes longer. Then, I closed my eyes, opened the book to some unknown page and gently slipped it back in.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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4 Responses to Taking things as you find them

  1. ValerieD says:

    Read this little poem, thought it appropriate… Perhaps four leaf clovers grow in your heart?

    “I know a place where the sun is like gold,
    And the cherry blossoms burst with snow,
    And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

    One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
    And one is for love, you know,
    And God put another in for luck, –
    If you search, you will find where they grow.

    But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
    You must love and be strong – and so,
    If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.”

    ~ Ella Higgenson

  2. maxine says:

    I love this post! And your luck–how has it been since you found this gem?

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  4. Terrisita says:

    Sweet. Serindipty and happenstance. We can all use more of that…and for luck to find you! All the better.

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