On small moments, fate, and four-leaf clovers

I wonder sometimes about the timing of little moments in life; I wonder if it is all completely random, or if I am meant to encounter certain people and share certain moments with them.  Take this morning for example… on my way to work I went through Scotts Valley to satisfy my Starbucks craving.  As I was getting out of my car, a nice elderly gentleman was passing by and stopped to talk to me. “Good morning there, young lady.  I’d like to ask you a question… have you ever seen a four-leaf clover?”

As he said this he was slowly reaching into his pocket to retrieve something, but my mind had already flowed to memories of my cousin Jamie, and how we used to hunt through the big patch of green clovers in my Auntie Jillayne’s backyard in search of a four-leaf clover.  I don’t know what we thought might happen if we found one, but I don’t think it mattered much.  We were both just the type of girl that could sit for hours quietly searching for something rare and special, having faith that magic and luck do exist somehow in this world.  Needless to say, this sweet man had me in his opening line.

“My name is Doug – that is short for Douglas, you know,” he said, now holding a tiny manila envelope in his aged hands.  He very gingerly pulled a green, dried, and pressed four-leaf clover from inside the envelope.  “I am 92 years old but I feel like I’m 30 and I have had a beautiful life,” he placed it back inside the envelope and handed me the tiny treasure, “and I only give these to give to pretty girls.”   It was then that I noticed the playful sparkle in his glassy, watering eyes… a twinkle that I am sure will remain regardless of time and age.

Is it really possible for my heart to melt for a complete stranger?  I thanked him and just as I wondered who this man was that had made my regular morning ritual so special he said, “You can Google me later – just look up Douglas Turkey Egg.”  I certainly wasn’t going to forget that name.

It turns out he has had a beautiful life, filled with love, luck, and great experiences like acting at a young age in movies with the likes of Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, and John Wayne.  As I read an article about him in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, towards the end it said that he grows these 4-leaf clovers in his backyard and hands them out as his way of sharing the good fortune he’s experienced in his lifetime.

This is a perfect example of the moments I wonder about, moments that seem like small gifts that spark excitement and inspiration inside me.  It was 7am on a regular ol’ Tuesday, I didn’t even have breakfast in my belly yet, and I happened to cross paths with this delightful person who simply wanted to share his joy and enthusiasm for life with me.  Even if I never make sense of the idea of fate around these moments, I can at least say I know am a lucky lady and now I have the four-leaf clover to prove it.