I’m loving walking our dog through the fields around the village we live in at the moment. Not that I there’s a time I don’t enjoy it, but at the moment the grass is knee high, and the fields are so quiet you can hear the gentle shushing sound it makes when our legs brush past as we amble along. I also love running the palm of my hand across the tops of the grass seed heads as I walk, (think Russell Crowe’s Gladiator in petite female form!) It helps me feel more connected to the nature that surrounds me.
The buttercups are in full bloom, with their yellow heads dancing with the dandelion clocks in the breeze, to the songs the birds are singing. And then there’s the clover. Masses of clover leaves covering the ground all huddled together. This got me thinking about my childhood.
Keeping it simple
We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, and there were certainly fewer eateries available – especially kid-friendly ones. We took picnics with us whenever we went out for the day, maybe your family did the same. My favourite sandwich was strawberry jam on white bread. We always had a flask of tea. There may have been some other bits and pieces, probably a Mr Kipling’s Country Slice, but what I remember is a jam or ham sandwich, and a cup of tea. Simple stuff.
There were no mobile phones, Nintendo’s, Ipads or the like to provide entertainment. In fact, there weren’t really any travel games to take with us except playing cards, and possibly badminton racquets and shuttlecock. We had to entertain ourselves with what we had around us.
If there was a grassy bank nearby you could roll down it, get up and brush yourself down, walk back up and repeat until you felt sick. If there was a stream or lake with a beach you could go paddling, look for tiny fish, or skim stones.
If you were simply in the middle of a field with one type of grass you could make a sound like a kazoo (you can look that up if you don’t know what it is!), with another type you could launch seed ‘rockets’.
Daisies made daisy-chains to be worn around the wrist or on your head. In later years you could ask the daisy whether the subject of your attraction loved you, or loved you not. I’ve never worked out how they were supposed to know this.
You could also tell the time with a dandelion clock, okay granted it wasn’t accurate, but it was still fun to see which way the seeds floated away.
And then there was the search for treasure…..the search for the
So rare (1 in 10,000 apparently) you could spend a whole afternoon looking and not have wasted a second, because you knew if you found one it would bring you luck! We all need a bit of luck in our lives, don’t we?
Before writing this I looked up the origins of this superstition and found that each leaf had a meaning. If you had a three-leaf clover, you had faith, hope, and love. But if you had a four-leaf clover, well, you had all of the above PLUS LUCK! There’s also a rumour you’d be able to see fairies and ward off evil spirits. All in all a four-leaf clover was definitely something worth searching for.
Where am I going with all this?
Well, as I was meandering around the fields the other day I began to wonder why, if we humans are able to hold a four-leaf clover in such high-esteem (which when you think about it, is ‘different’), we don’t appear to apply the same rule to ourselves.
We live in a world where to be ‘different’ is (in general) to be excluded. We want to fit in, be accepted, be the same as everyone else. The four-leaf is definitely a minority in the clover world, yet we actively seek it out as a treasure.
Different is good
What I’m trying to say is that, whilst it is human nature to want to belong to the “tribe” – definitely safer than roaming the world on your own – maybe we can find it within ourselves to treasure being ‘different’.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could treasure our own individuality, whilst still belonging to the human race?
Think about it. You are one in 7,346,235,000 people. Not just one in 10,000 like the four-leaf clover. No, my friend, you are one in over 7 billion humans. Pretty amazing huh?
There has never been and will never again be someone who has lived the life you have, who has experienced life in the same way you have, who sees things the way you see things, who feels the way you feel, who thinks the thoughts you think, who can create what you can create in the way you create it. There may be people who are similar, but no one will ever be you in the way you are you.
And yet so often we hide ourselves away amongst all the other ‘clovers’ making it hard for people to find us.
The world needs you to be you much more than it needs to you pass through life unnoticed. If you don’t show up to live your life in the only way you can, who will?
I reckon the world needs as much luck as it can get at the moment, which means it needs you to play your part.
Don’t spend your life as a treasure waiting to be discovered. Show the world what you are capable of. Dig deep, pull your socks up and shine!
It takes nothing to join the crowd, it takes everything to stand alone.
Hans F Hansen