What the Luck?


Makawao Elementary School.

Circa 1988.

Playground poppin’, kickball going off on one end, red rover on the other. Hopscotch, marbles, Chinese jumprope. One of the only blonde haired girls in the school sits off on the side beneath the paper tree quietly searching the sprouting of clovers spread across the green country grass.

Thats me. By the way. I had just learned about four leaf clovers and the perplexing powers of this thing called Luck. I was certain that within the clusters of perfect three leafed clovers would be that one flawed and miraculously magical four leafed answer to all my 6 year old problems.

Alas, the school bell would ring and my efforts were fruitless. With my attention span at the time, I’m sure this only went on a couple of days, but thus began my personal commitment to securing unseen promise of luck.

This same persistent luck seeking can be seen in any casino. Folks sit at these machines for hours investing their time and money (sometimes life savings), repeatedly pressing slot machine buttons and rubbing the dice warm between their hands, placing every source of hope on the universe circling ever so slightly in the way that fortune lands in their laps. If they win, they have had good luck. If they lose, it was bad luck. Either way, it is luck.

My niece likes her toe nails painted Gold before the State Tournament.  Never mind that  her success is a result of years of hard work and training. But if the gold toes give her that extra skip in her step? Why not?  There is a tunnel on Maui in which locals hold their breath and honk their horn through, while making a wish. I blow in cups before I pour coffee. People tap airplanes before stepping on.  Theres a whole retail market out there offering a variety of lucky charms and we’ve all got that favorite shirt that we are secretly certain nothing can go wrong in.

Its pretty amazing that in a world where we are at times somewhat removed from spiritual practice, we still cling to this idea of luck. That something greater than us can arrange things to fall in our favor, or against it, that our destiny might possibly depend on inanimate objects that we’ve given power to.

Today is Friday the 13th. A day that holds power for many. Many enter this day with great reverence, some, in fear of what may happen to them within these 24 hours. Some, like myself, get excited. Realistically, any day holds the promise of surprise, pain, joy, success and loss. Perhaps there is some truth behind the superstitions of this day: the endless nature of influence that a single day can hold.

Somewhere in there is a delicate dance of effort and the unseen, of chance and choices. Today I hope you feel your own personal power at play as well as the joy and adventure that all forms of luck can bring.

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