My Three-Leaf Clover

Mary Huegel, Creative Writer

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A cold breeze hits my face, and I squint as my eyes water. The sun beats down yet it cannot warm the icy feeling on my fingertips. Even though it is March, the frigid wind bites at me as though it wants to pull me away. But I am determined.  I am determined to find my treasure. I push through the wind. My boots crush the field of green that was once so lush and alive. I pause for a moment and look back at my path. I see the footprints I have left in this field of green. Withered plants fill in the spaces that my boots left. I am determined to find my treasure. I begin to squat closer to the ground. I wipe the tears that formed in my eyes from the wind. My frozen fingertips brush the soft sprouts beneath them.

I continue to crush the field of green as my foot gets caught on a lip in the field. My body crashes against the field of green. My clumsy foot aches, and for a moment, I simply lay in the field. The soft sprouts slip against my bare skin; they touch my cheeks, my hands, the nape of my neck. Slowly, I stand up. I am determined to find my treasure. I look where my body was just previously laying. There lay the limp plants that I crushed with my weight. I shrug off my pain and continue walking, carefully examining the field. It takes a moment, maybe a million moments, but I spot it.

I meticulously count over and over the leaves that belong to this clover. Four. A four-leaf clover. I pluck the clover out of the field of green and hold it close to my face. I wait for something magical to happen. Four-leaf clovers are magical. I expect to feel warm. I expect to feel joy. I expect to feel like there are butterflies in my stomach. Something. Yet I feel no different. I am still cold and tired. My foot still hurts and my head is pounding. I look back at this four leaf clover. Yup, four leaves. I glare with bitterness at the clover that sits in my frost-bitten fingers. Then, I turn to look back at where I came from.

I see all the crushed and withered three-leaf clovers that were ruined because of me. I killed hundreds of little three-leaf clovers because I assumed that a four-leaf one would make all my problems go away. I let the four-leaf clover drift out of my fingers. I walk back to where I came from with one thought ringing through my head: I stepped all over hundreds of clovers just to find one that I thought was special. I realize something as I step on the gravel of the parking lot. There are so many times where people disregard the little things because they see something they think is cooler. I realized how stupid that was.

I realized at that moment that whether it’s with clovers or with people, we can’t just ignore the things we think are ordinary because that will hurt. It won’t just hurt the people you walked all over, but it will hurt you. I turn to walk to my car, but before I do, I bend over the field of green. I pick up a clover. An ordinary three-leaf clover. And I hold it close to my chest, then I place it carefully in my wallet. Now, I feel warm. Now, I feel happy. I feel the butterflies because I found something that did make me happy rather than something that I thought should make me happy. Find your three-leaf clover.