As a kid I had an eye for four-leaf clovers. I never had to hunt for them as other people did. It fascinated my mother, and I never lost the knack for it. Every time I come home, I find one.
Every time I think I’ve spotted the elusive clover, it turns out to be a dud (no offense to the run-of-the-mill three-leaf clover). My best efforts are now thwarted by my own excitement and anticipation. Then it occured to me: what if they’re all gone? What if we’ve picked them all?
We all know that when the clover is plucked, it dies. Maybe not immediately, but the end is certainly inevitable. We have no evidence (at least I don’t) that another necessarily grows back in its place. Maybe that’s the problem with the world today: we’ve picked all the good luck already, and there’s nothing growing back in its place.
With that in mind, if and when I stumble upon another lucky clover, I will leave it firmly attached to its roots. I will marvel over it briefly, smiling and thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, I’ve still got it.”
Every Friday morning the recycling collection truck rolls through the neighborhood. I watch as it mechanically and methodically picks up the cans of people’s good intentions and empties them into its belly. I can only do this for so long, though. At one point, it gets too far away, and the back of the truck is no longer visible through the thick cloud of emissions pouring from the exhaust.
It’s amazing what a little rain can do. Walking out the door this morning it finally feels like summer. The air is thick with moisture craving somewhere to go, and the breeze is just swift enough to keep it from being sticky. Days like today make me remember why I love summertime.
I leave the house expecting to smell sunscreen, and there is the inevitable smell of cheap plastic floatation devices to be used at the pool. These smells, coupled with the smell of fresh cut grass and gasoline or charcoal and burned hotdogs, are timeless, as are the sounds of sprinklers watering ever-parched backyards and the lawnmowers being used to cut them or the twinkle of lightning bugs as they try to evade capture at dusk. I know them; my parents know them. The kids down the street from me know them. Some things just never get old.
Summer mornings are my favorites. The day holds so much possibility. On cool summer mornings when the dew is still on the grass, the world is mine. I can do anything or nothing, and the air seems charged with anticipation. Generally by mid-day that sense of optimism has given way to that sun-tired feeling that unfailingly accompanies high temperatures. But at least I had it, and at least I know I’ll have it again the next day.
Whether I actually smell the smells or see the sights is irrelevant. I never really think about how etched into my memory they are until this day comes every year, and their possibility is enough for me. Today, for me, summer has actually begun.