Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Someone gave me a four-leaf clover yesterday. My computer class was ending and a man came up to me asking "Was it you with the ladybug? Was that you?" I stammered for a bit, trying to figure out what he was talking about, and then I flashed back to the beginning of the semester.

I was trying to find a quiet, Internet-free place to study, having a two-hour gap between classes, and on my way from building to building I saw a little red ladybug in the snow. I couldn't just leave it there, so I dropped my books off in the nearest building and went looking for a place I could put her to be warm.

I asked the opinion of pretty much everyone I came across, finally settling on the idea of taking her to the greenhouse in the Agriculture and Life Sciences building. Having no idea where that was, I naturally had to ask more people in order to find the right building, and then get directions once I was inside. Eventually I found the greenhouse, and inside the greenhouse I found magic.

A stone path wound through the closely packed greenery, leading from the upper level to the lower before opening up into a little clearing with a table and two chairs. Hanging from a tree as I came in were beautiful bell-shaped flowers, beginning red at the base and shifting into brilliant yellow at the tips of the petals.

A waterfall tumbled over rocks, creating a river that flowed underneath the path. Tiny green clovers were clustered together in the bends and curves of the path. The air was heady with perfume, the warmth closed in around me, and the silence settled down upon my shoulders. Here was a good place. Here the ladybug would be safe.

I wasn't expecting a reward beyond the knowledge that I had protected it. Indeed, the discover of such a place was more than enough reward. Yesterday, however, a person I've probably only spoken to once or twice before came up to me and gave me the first four-leaf clover I'd ever seen.

It completely blew me away. I could barely speak for the shock. Coming from a city, I'd heard of them, but I'd never seen one, much less held it in my own two hands. Strangely enough, he didn't seem to want the gift to be from him - he spoke of a friend who "would have really appreciated what I did there" on whose behalf he was giving it.

He told me to "consider it a gift from the ladybug." I wish I knew the story behind his friend. Who they were, what they did, why a ladybug would matter to them, but I don't. All I have is a story and a gift I will treasure. It seems to echo James A. Owen's words:

“There is magic in the world, and I can show you where it is.
And I will not let you fall.”
~James A. Owen

There is magic in the world. Things happen for no reason other than it's right to do them at the time. Small acts of kindness have unforeseen effects. What change are you making today?

Word of the Day: Serendipity (noun): The natural ability to make fortunate discoveries by accident, often used to mean the happy accident itself. Coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 who wrote the Persian fairytale The Three Princes of Serendip about three heroes who possessed this gift.

It has been described by Julius H. Comroe, as "to look for a needle in a haystack and get out of it with the farmer's daughter." For more information, see the Wikipedia article on the subject.


  1. We can change the world around us with small acts of kindness bring us joy in more ways than we can imagine. Thank you for sharing one such instance that you were privileged to experience. We can all look for the ladybugs in the snow and share our smile and warmth with them effecting far more than them alone.

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I'm glad you're extending my metaphor, it makes me feel all deep and clever. =)

  2. That is such a beautiful story! I'm glad you saved the ladybug. And that makes me miss the greenhouse. I was an eSci major.

    I guess I'll have to keep my eyes extra peeled for those ladybugs in the snow today...

    1. Sorry for making you miss the greenhouse! Saving the world, one ladybug at a time. ^_^