I see you laying in the yard, a blanket of clover beneath you. Your arms are wide pressing against the cool earth, spread out to cover the greatest surface area. You’ve fanned your hair out because you like the way the grass feels against your neck. All around you clover buds converge.
When you get up, the outline of your shape remains, like a snow angel or maybe a grave, I can’t decide which. You run through the yard, dragging your finger tips on the tops of the flowers. As you wade through the kiddie pool, I see you reach down to examine something on the surface of the water. Dropping it, you splash your brother and run away to chase the lighting bugs just beginning to emerge from the ground.
“What are these flowers?” you asked earlier in the day. Our bodies, not yet accustomed to the summer humidity, were sprawled out side by side on the cool ground.
“It’s clover,” I said.
Gesturing to the acre before us, “All of these flowers are four leaf clovers. We’re so lucky!” you said.
“Most of these have 3 leaves, not four,” I said with a small smile.
Silhouetted against the fading sky, a lone clover stood taller than the rest. Spotting it, you plucked it to count the leaves. Tossing it aside you’ve already learned that this plant is more valued for its leaves than its flowers. You rolled over onto your back, strands of clover and grass clinging to your bare skin.
“We should paint your nails tomorrow,” I said, noticing the chipped blue paint next to the clover tangled between your toes.
“Why don’t you hug me any more?” you asked, your eyes on the next specimen.
Surprised by your question, I pulled you in tight and held you until giggled and said, “Ok. That’s enough.”
You lay back down in your spot, adjusting yourself to fit perfectly in the space. As I come back outside, I pass by the pool and see a set of clover leaves floating, only three. You’re still hunting for your lucky charm.
“Look! Lightning bugs,” you say noticing the first few that have emerged from below ground.
“Let’s catch a few and look at them up close,” I say, grabbing a handful and filling a jar with grass and clover.
“I got one!” you say, carefully letting it crawl off of your finger and into the jar.
After adding a few more, you curl up on my lap to wait and watch.
But they don’t glow. They travel along the thin blades of grass, crawling along the glass and lid. For a few minutes we watch them but you’re growing impatient and it’s close to bedtime. So, I tell you one thing I know for sure, “They only light up once you’ve set them free.”