When I was a kid, I obsessed with four-leaf clovers. I grew up in a town with a sizable Irish population, and I came from a family that originated in Scotland, was exiled to Ireland, married up Irish lasses there, and then immigrated to Canada, then somehow made their way down south just far enough to Syracuse, where they said, "There's enough snow, salt and potatoes here to make us all happy." or something. Anyway, I grew up in a family where Irish eyes were smiling. My father's eldest sister, Diane, was a tremendous singer - growing up, I always loved to hear her haunting vibrato as she sang Irish folk songs at family gatherings. "Can Anybody Tell Me Where the Blarney Roses Grow?" still echoes in my mind in her voice all the time; we lost her almost 28 years ago now, but I still think of her all the time. She was an early influence on me musically - she was a tremendous musician. Sold me my first Trumpet, when I took that up in grade school. But today, especially, her voice rings in my head and my heart remembers.
But, back to four-leaf clovers - today was unseasonably warm, as St. Patrick's Day can mysteriously do in Central New York, and my son was playing in the back yard, hunting the freshly revealed grass when he exclaimed "A four leaf clover!" It turns out, it wasn't... but I remember the last time I found a four-leaf clover. It was 2011, I was on dialysis and not doing the greatest. Feeling kind of down about life, and my position in it. When, out in my driveway at the house we lived in at the time, I spied one growing in the grass just to the side of the pavement. I plucked it up, and sure enough - four petals on that clover. I smiled, and wondered what luck it would bring. I showed it to the folks inside, and I think we all shared in a silly moment of appreciating it. It's kind of a silly thing, but these little traditions and superstitions can bond us. All I know is a few weeks after I found that, I had taken my wife into work and then went to Wegmans to get us some milk. We were out... and while I was shopping for milk, I got a call on my cellphone from my kidney transplant clinic. Hours later, I was being prepped for what was ultimately my second kidney transplant.
So, maybe there was some luck for me in that little plant I found. Sometimes it seems like bad luck follows me - but maybe it's just cause the bad times hurt so much they take precedent in the memory banks. But when I think about it, I've been pretty damn lucky too. I hope we all find lots more four leaf clovers - and may luck, prosperity, peace and goodwill find us all when we need it. I know it's found me many times, and I must remind myself of that on days when I am low.