Monday, December 7, 2009

How To Find A Four Leaf Clover

This is going to be a little tough because it's so personal, but I want to share this first taste of a book I began about a year and a half ago. It's a book for my unborn children. In it, I record bits of advice, recipes, and memories that I hope will guide and amuse them on their way. This introduction explains it all. I write in it very sporadically, when I am so inclined and inspired, and add only my absolute favorite recipes. If you like, I'll share bits and pieces of it with you as it progresses. 


How To Find a Four Leaf Clover 
recipes and bits of guidance for my children  
This book began the day before your father’s thirtieth birthday. You hadn’t been born or even conceived yet, and still, I sat down to write this especially for you. I have no way of knowing how much of it will be useful to you. I can only record what I know; things I find to be useful and important in ways which some people may not understand. Your mother is not a particularly conventional person. After all, I value the skill it takes to make the perfect birthday cake over how to drive a car or operate a drill. I’ve survived (actually thrived) in this world despite my somewhat strange priorities, like mandatory daily walks in nature and an ample supply of butter at room temperature, just in case I suddenly feel the need to bake a batch of cookies.
My biggest priority, however, and one which feels more like instinct than choice, is an abundance of harmony, laughter, and enthusiasm for life. Contentment doesn’t always come naturally; and at times it takes real effort to stay afloat in joy. My highest intention in writing this book is that it will serve as a reminder of all that is good in times when you feel dull, lost, lonely and broken. May it serve as a source of inspiration and enjoyment, in times of happiness and in times of doubt.
As I was saying, it’s the day before your father’s thirtieth birthday, and I’ve been on the lookout for gifts. It’s extremely difficult to shop for your Dad. He has everything he needs, and the things he likes he buys for himself almost immediately. I did find one gift yesterday, a silver ceiling fan with three lights, so that gave me peace of mind. A few years ago during a trip to California we slept in a bed with a ceiling fan above it and Ramon went on and on about it: “This is the best. I need a ceiling fan. One day I’ll have a ceiling fan. There’s nothing like sleeping on a hot night with a ceiling fan.” Alright already! So, a ceiling fan it is. He’ll be very happy about it. I also wrapped a framed wedding photo of myself and our dog Kiki (‘his girls’), and I watercolored and wrote a love letter as I do every year for his birthday. The gift thing was covered.
I put Kiki on a leash and headed out for our daily walk in the woods. We made our way through the forest, past the winding creek and the small bog where tadpoles hatch every spring, and then up and out into the widespread field which covers a sunny hillside. It’s full of summer weeds, wildflowers, and grasses dusty with pollen. Edging the narrow beaten path are green clusters of clover. “How nice it would be to find a four leaf clover for Ramon’s birthday,” I thought, and scanned the clover absently. Sometimes I thought I saw one, but this always ended up to be two clover leaves overlapping one another. After looking for a while I gave up and concentrated on walking up the steep hill.
On our way down, while I was thinking of something totally different and watching my feet trudging through the grass, there it was, nodding among it’s fellow clover: a lovely, tall, perfectly green four leaf clover! To find a four leaf clover, you must concentrate your mind on something else entirely. (This, by the way, is also how one best finds love.) Of course, you can’t go into a concrete parking lot and then say to the Universe, “I’d like a four leaf clover, please,” and hope one will appear in a crack in the asphalt. (This, by the way, is like hoping to find true love at a bar. Not likely.) No, that won’t work. What I am suggesting is that you go where there is an abundance of clover, walk there, and think of something else. If you are meant to see one of the four leaf clovers that are out there, you will.
A few words about deliberate four leaf clover hunting: this is a technique which my father has exercised a few times. Sitting in a clover patch and brushing his hand over the tops in hopes of finding a luck-bringing specimen. And I’ll admit, it has worked. But the feeling is never quite as satisfactory. You approach it like, “I better find a four leaf clover, cause I sure am working hard at finding one.” If you don’t, you feel defeated. If you do, it doesn’t feel like luck, it feels like something you earned. It loses a part of its magic. In this case, the only way to get the full magnitude of magic back is to give the four leaf clover away as a gift. There isn’t a person on earth who doesn’t feel honored to receive a four leaf clover, pressed and dried, neatly placed in a little box or between the pages of a special book. I put your father’s between thick paper and a clear sheet of plastic. On the back of the paper it reads:
“Walking through the field today, the day before your birthday, I thought how nice it would be to find a four-leaf-clover for you. I looked and looked-nothing. Then, just when I forgot, there it was! Just like our love, I found it when I least expected it. Did you know that you are my very own living good luck charm?” 
I knew, walking home with the four leaf clover safely in the palm of my hand, that I wanted to write you this letter, this long, long letter, all about life and magic and finding your personal fulfillment. About how to make the best of your life, or at least, how I am making the best of mine. Mostly, I want you to know that this book, this letter, is the result of the love I have for your father...of which you are also a most wonderful result.
One last thing. I have little patience for people who think their way is the only way. I hope you will always keep in mind that the advice contained within these pages isn’t meant to tell you what to do. There are some things which you will disagree with, recipes you won’t like, or other methods you will find more efficient. No, this book is not the way, maybe even not the best way. It’s just my way, the way that has formed and fed me, the way which agrees with my soul and keeps me fresh. So please, feel free to find fault in this advice of mine. I can only assure you that what I write is what is true to my heart.


Thanks for reading, blog buddies!
I'm hugging you all, virtually :)
xo country girl

10 comments:

  1. Oh Dawn, what a lovely idea and what lucky, lucky children are to come for you both! 2010 will be your best year yet, I just know it. Love to read more when you have it! xo

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  2. Yes, PLEASE share more when you feel the urge! I had a lovely cry-- from the middle to the bottom of your letter! And I needed a lovely cry today. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for sharing what's in your soul! I feel so lucky to have met you! My (silly?) sentimental heart craves for such true sharing.
    May God bless you! xoxoxo
    PS. e-mail address (just in case)
    achyiot@yahoo.gr

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  4. Your book is such a lovely idea, and will be appreciated by your family. What a touching post. Thank you!

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  5. i loved this so much. i needed to read this today...and you have left me feeling inspired. thank you for sharing this piece of your heart & soul...it is beautiful. it is advice that i will remember and keep in my heart.
    thank you
    k

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  6. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to blog. It's so great to read your fine writing and get insight into your beautiful Heart meanwhile.
    Lovelovelove

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  7. sweet dawn;
    thank you for your kind comment on my blog. i had left a comment under your entry titled 'please read' last night. i heard many of the same comments as you have and they hurt; this was my baby and i loved it all the same even if it's precious life wasn't long...there was life there and it is to be honoured. i started to see a counsellor early on after my loss and she talked about doing something special to honour our child's life...i plan on painting a picture in shades of pink, not of anything specific, mostly just colour swirled around. i also want to name my baby and have a star dedicated to her. being creative yourself maybe pouring some of your feelings into a project you can have in your house to honour your baby's life might help you; a reminder of your first child...
    i am so sorry for the loss of your wee sweet baby...a child that was very much loved to be sure; and know that your baby could feel your love surround it....a mother's love.
    so glad to have found you...and am thinking and praying for you.
    xo
    k

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  8. This is such a lovely idea and I think it will be packed with great things because they all come from the heart and they are brought about by love. They will be very, very lucky to have a mum like you and when they are old they will look back on this with fond memories. You have such a sweet, good soul...I love this about you. I always strive to be wise, happy and thoughtful for others. It is sort of a manta. It always hurts me when I think I have unintentionally neglected someone or done them wrong...It is funny how some people are so keen to follow a life of good...and yet there are so many wicked people out there as well...you are a special lady! I hope you finish it and it gets well read and worn!!!!! xxx

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  9. I love it!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Many things resonate with me about this letter, but one that comes back to me time and time again when I read your blogs is the feeling that anything you raise, whether it be Kiki, Little One and all future children will benefit from the clear love and respect you hold for Ramon. Very beautiful.

    Also, I know this is a very personal story, but that concept could totally become a children's book one day. With illustrations by Country Girl.

    Happy Day to You!
    Organic Spark

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  10. Dawn, I just stumbled upon this, now that I have figured out how to check in on your blog regularly (which I LOVE!).
    This writing is so beautiful, generous and wise. Like you.
    SUCH a lucky baby to have you as a mother!
    hugs,
    trishna

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