Sunday, July 16, 2006

Finding Four Leaf Clovers

By Keith Fisher
Do you remember four-leaf clovers? When I was young, they fascinated me. In every patch of clover, on every lawn, there were billions of three-leaf clovers, but a true four-leaf clover was rare and considered lucky. Some believed that four leafs were a myth. I knew they were real because I had seen one.

I’m not talking about the clover that grows in alfalfa fields. They are huge by comparison and may have four leaves. I’m talking about the patches that grew in lawns.

It became an on-going quest to find a four-leaf. Sometimes we spent hours lying on our bellies over a patch of clover, looking for the Leprechaun’s leaves. There were many clever lads who would remove two leaves and put two stalks together, providing the illusion of a four-leaf. But if you looked closely you could tell that it was a fake.

We didn’t notice at the time but clover patches were also rare in lawns. When I grew older and I had to take care of my own lawn. I learned that clover is an undesirable lawn weed. Growing up can certainly change a person’s perspective.

When I think back on those lazy summer days and our quest for a lucky charm, I realize the lessons of life that I learned: Persistence, perseverance, patience, hope, organization, sharing, humility. I also learned to talk with my friends.

As the memories of my youth begin to fade, the lessons learned while lying on the lawn are still there. In my writing I have learned (through rejections) to have patience, to be persistent, to keep looking. Just like looking at every three-leaf to find one four-leaf, I am learning to look at every word and every sentence while editing. I am noticing the poorly constructed sentences of the clever lads, those who were published before the LDS market got so tough. I am realizing that I need to learn to do better. Above all, I am learning from all of you, my writer friends. I learn from your wisdom.

The one lesson that I didn’t learn in a clover patch, the thing I have needed most as a writer is overcoming my pride when I realize that an editor is right. My writing has improved from the support of a writer’s group and I realize that any success that I attain will be (in part) due to my writer friends.

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