Marilyn was having a bad St. Patrick’s Day. First, the holiday fell on a work day and she had to work. Second, she didn’t like where she worked. Third, she didn’t feel like going out even if she wasn’t working because her boyfriend had just dumped her. Fourth, it had been a dreary, dark, and ugly March, not to mention the whole year so far. Fifth, sixth, seventh … she could come up with a hundred more reasons to be in a foul mood.
Then she came across a four-leaf clover. This irritated her even more because she was not in the mood for luck and magic. She was feeling quite pessimistic, to say the least, even more so than usual. Marilyn would concede that it was unusual to have found it at all. Rarely did she look down while walking; she marched forward with no mind to anything else. But there was a huge patch of clovers next to where her car was parked and, after all, it was St. Patrick’s Day. She had to take a peek.
She wouldn’t have looked for more than a minute, but she picked out a four-leafer right away. It was taller than the others; it sprang right up at her. And so she bent down, plucked it, and stared at it for a long second. Then she opened her purse, opened her wallet, and placed it gently inside.
At work she was aggravated to see that everyone was wearing green. On something, somewhere. A green sweater, a green skirt, a green tie (a few particularly hideous ones, she noted), a green pair of earrings. One woman had the audacity to wear those green shamrock antenna that bounce around from atop the heads of the idiots wearing them. In the office! Marilyn was thoroughly disgusted and desperately wished the pinch rule was reversed. (No one, however, had the nerve to pinch her for lacking in the green department. She stared them all down.)
And so the day wore on, worse than usual because her co-workers seemed more cheerful than usual. Several were planning to go to bars and drink green beer after work, despite the fact that it had started to pour rain. Others were jotting down grocery lists for Irish meals of soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage. After seeing Marilyn’s scowl, she was not invited to any of these activities.
After work she sat in front of the television, scowling, and eating leftover pizza from the night before. She had thought about going to the grocery store and cooking an Irish meal for herself, but she was too tired. Before going to bed she remembered the four-leaf clover and retrieved it from her wallet.
Staring at the little green shamrock, she recalled something she used to do with autumn leaves in her childhood. She went into the kitchen and found a box of waxed paper. Then she stood on her tiptoes and found her relatively unused iron. She cut two square pieces of waxed paper and sandwiched the clover between them. A few strokes of the hot iron sealed the clover inside.
Marilyn stared at her artwork. As a child, she had taped her waxed-paper leaves to the window for the light to shine through. This grown-up March had been one without much sunlight, but she went ahead and taped her creation to the window in her bedroom.
The next morning, March 18, Marilyn awoke to bright sunlight streaming through her bedroom window. She jumped up from her bed and looked at the four-leaf clover she had taped to her window. The light shone through it and she smiled. Maybe there was a little bit of magic in it after all, she thought.