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I Went Looking For a Four-Leafed Clover, but Instead I Found…

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cloverLast week I meandered down my backyard to spend some time with the trees and birds and bask in the springtime sun. When I had satisfied by desire for fresh air I turned and headed back to my house. On my way I looked down and noticed the clovers in the grass, and decided I would extend my time outside to try to find my first four-leafed clover. I went looking for a four-leafed clover, but instead I found something much better.

I began in the taller grass and spent a long time there, using my fingers to help my eyes distinguish between the leaves and their associated stems. When I didn’t find my four-leafed clover in that first patch, I followed the path of clovers through more grass, investigating each configuration diligently.

To no avail.

My frustration began to mount, but each time I felt defeated in one area, I looked up and saw another section full of clovers yet to be discovered. Despite mounting set-backs, my hope and determination were rejuvenated with the promise of each new clover patch, and I kept pursuing my search. But this is not a story of determination.

Eventually I ended up on a mossy section in the middle of the field, with innumerable clovers interspersed throughout. There I found a miraculous micro-system. Newborn clovers were sprouting up amongst larger ones that seemed to watch over them protectively. Baby grasshoppers jumped between the leaves as ants crawled beneath them. There were darker and lighter mosses whose tendrils wove together in diverse configurations that are invisible to the eye from further away.

I didn’t forget my mission to find a four-leafed clover despite all these new discoveries, but after I had sorted through every clover in this mossy oasis, it didn’t seem so important anymore. I had found a thriving miniature world whose details I had never before considered.

All too often we are so focused on finding our four-leafed clovers, that we forget to stay curious about what can be found right in front of our noses. I still haven’t found a four-leafed clover. Instead I found the grace of a realization. While the goal of attaining an elusive quatrifolium is what kept me searching, the resulting discoveries were sweet in ways I couldn’t have anticipated had I stumbled upon my original desire.

I will keep searching for four-leaf clovers, but from now on I’ll be more interested in where that search leads me. If I ever do find a four-leafed clover I will certainly be ecstatic, I might do a little dance, and I might even frame it. But after all the gloating is done, I’ll head right back outside and search for another, just to see what else I might find.

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