One of the advantages of growing up on a farm is that you spend a lot of time being just a few feet tall and eye-level with the field. Later, but slowly, you grow a bit and look down, and all the tops of things come into view. Your sense of wonder at that age is matter-of-fact and practical, scaled for harvest. Everything fits in your fist or your back pocket or between your teeth. If you develop the habit of looking down, soon you find four-leaf clovers everywhere.
For years if I opened books from my shelf at random, in particular, books like Black Beauty, or The Wind in the Willows, clovers would scatter onto the floor. The knack of finding them stayed with me for years, and then one day I forgot about it. I gave books away, whole shelves full, without remembering to open them first. My luck, I would have to say, was not exceptional, and there were times I would look around me and feel that some intangible thing was missing. Who knows how the fourth leaf, of grace, comes into one’s life? Last week I visited Fernwoodsy, a magical place of dappled light and bees and meadow. And for just a moment I looked down…..