The essence of my mother’s life was movement. She was a dancer and a bicyclist.
She also had an eye for finding four leaf clovers.
She had inherited this trait from her father, and consequently passed it down to me.
When I was a child, we would take bike rides around DC in search of them.
Our ritual was as follows:
We’d wake up, pack chicken sandwiches for lunch, and set out on our beloved bikes until sunset.
Together, we made an effective pair. We’d often come home just before dark, fists full
of lucky leaves destined for preservation in one of my father’s heavy old books.
The twist with four leaf clovers is that they often thrive in places you wouldn’t expect.
This being said, my mother and I would often spend time on our hands and knees in some
scrubby urban grass patch, nestled amidst the buzz of the urban hubbub.
My mother despised the urban condition of traffic that surrounded us on our clover searching days.
“Cars,” she’d tell me as the city zoomed and honked around our focused search, “are coffins.”
To her, these cars prevented their drivers from seeing the magic of their surroundings.
“The secret to finding a four leaf clover” she’d continue, “is that you have to look. You can’t do that when you’re locked up in a machine.”
This secret defined my mother’s philosophy in life: that movement is magic, and we simply need to be conscious of this gift.