Monday, March 17, 2014
Shamrock and Clover
With St. Patrick's Day upon us, my thoughts went to shamrocks. Not knowing the difference between shamrocks and clover, I decided to do a little online research. Although my findings are far from definitive and I will never proclaim to be an expert on either, I did find the reading to be enlightening. For instance, my mom always had an Oxalis around our house, a shamrock-looking type of houseplant that bears little white flowers. She also carried a four-leaf clover in her wallet that she had found as a young woman and preserved with adhesive. From some of my online reading, I learned that the shamrock, known for its three leaves (as opposed to a four-leaf clover), has some Christian significance, with the trifoliate leaves representing the Trinity. What we consider to be clover plants today all have a lineage to the pea family. It's no wonder that the pea shoots I get at our farmer's market resemble young clovers. With so much German and Bohemian heritage in my veins, I can only wish for a little luck of the Irish. My late maternal grandfather, however, used to claim that we had some Irish ancestry in us. His proclamations used to make the rest of the family chuckle a bit, but made his eyes dance. Perhaps his Irish eyes are smiling on us today.