Being Lucky

Posted by Colleen Newquist on 4th Mar 2024

Being Lucky

As a child, I once found a four-leaf clover. My father told me I had the luck of the Irish, and I believed him.

As an adult, something made me think of finding that four-leaf clover and the luck it represented. I longed to find one again. One night, I dreamed I found a four-leaf clover. It was distinctive, with one leaf smaller than the rest. When I awoke, I wandered with our dog out to the backyard, coffee cup in hand, and I saw it – the exact clover from my dream, with one leaf smaller than the rest! 

When I got to work that morning, I excitedly told my boss about the magical moment of spotting it. Ever the rational scientist, he gave me an indulgent smile and explained that because it was on my mind, I was predisposed to seeing that clover. 

There was, in his view, nothing magical about my discovery, but a matter of being primed to find it. I felt sorry for him, and his inability to embrace the wonder of my experience. In the decades since then, I’ve found dozens of four-leaf clovers, and I’ve thought often of his theory. 

Is it true that it’s simply a matter of science, that my brain is wired to see the pattern created by a clover with four leaves versus three? Perhaps. 

And then I think, how lucky I am to be able to see it. 

How to be lucky: 

1. Be open to possibility. 

2. Pay attention.

3. Believe you are.

Colleen Newquist writes, doodles, plays outside, and cooks in Three Oaks, Michigan. To read more of her musings in Stop and Smell the Butter, visit

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