There was a time in my life that whenever I felt bad, I would go looking for clovers. It became a habit around five years ago, when I’d just moved from Manila and noticed that clovers were more abundant in Tokyo. I have always loved the magical stories people weave in everyday objects, so naturally, I felt drawn to the idea of searching for a four-leaf clover.
Of all the times I looked for one, I was only able to find it once. I was on my way home from school and by some miracle, a patch of clovers caught my eye. The sidewalks near the University of Tokyo are lined with plenty of small clovers and yet with a glance, a shy four-leaf jumped into sight, as if waiting, asking to be picked and wished upon.
I remember being puzzled at first. I kept counting the leaves to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. And when I finally realized what I was holding was real, I was flooded with euphoria. I pressed it, made a bookmark, and gave it to the person who taught me how to find joy in looking for clovers.
In the years that followed, I remained vigilant whenever I saw clover patches. Never mind that I looked strange crouched and busily looking. It wasn’t really finding one that mattered, it was just knowing that they exist. Like the happiness that momentarily slipped from my fingers, I believed it is out there, waiting to be found.
But in the last two years, I haven’t looked for one at all. I think I learned to temper my moments of sadness with other simple joys. Sadness was, after all, a familiar friend, one that you no longer shut the door to as you grow older; one that you invite in, chat with, and say goodbye to knowing that you’ll see each other again. Continue reading A Clover Story