One Clover

A while back, I spent a happy afternoon collaging with friends, our host the talented collage artist Veronica Smith who specializes in personal mandalas. Veronica had invited us to drink tea and play with paper, scissors and glue. Collaging is not something I normally do and I found it unexpectedly soothing to cut and sort and paste and create. It felt meditative and exhilarating at the same time.

I was envisioning something full of greens to frame a favorite Emily Dickinson poem I had printed years ago in a letterpress class. And I wanted to showcase a tiny and fragile family heirloom: a four-leaf clover. This tiny green shoot, symbol of the luck of the Irish, was given to me by my father, who received it from a neighbor we called Grandma Edie. She had taped the four-leaf clover on a small card to preserve it and then she wrote on the back in her wispy handwriting:

"Found Friday
June 13th 1975
804 South 1st Ave.
Really was

I love to imagine Grandma Edie that day in 1975. Was she gardening, picnicking, reading in the grass? Did she whoop when she realized what she'd found? Why did she need the luck and did it hold? How long does a four-leaf clover give luck and does it transfer to future hands?

Almost forty years later, this is what came out of my afternoon collaging with friends...

I took this photograph of my creation today in the dappled sunshine, rather pleased with my novice attempt to make art out of something other than words. Now the assemblage hangs from its hook in my kitchen and is a daily visual reminder of luck and hope and spring...and that oh-so-beautiful word: revery.

To make a prairie
It takes a clover and a bee.
One clover and a bee,
And revery.
Revery alone will do
If bees are few.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Happy Almost-Spring!

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