Shamrock Searching & A Run O' Luck

Detail of watercolor "Run O' Luck"
 Since leaving Savannah, every year I celebrate St. Paddy's Day with a little bit of sadness and a ton of nostalgia.  If you've ever experienced the magic and mayhem of a Savannah St. Pat's, you know what I mean. As a SCAD student, our spring break was always scheduled around St. Patrick's Day.
(There's just no way to realistically hold college classes amidst a throng of three quarters of a million people, many with deep Irish roots and some just pretending to be Irish for a day, if not all week.)
 I miss the smiling faces of my friends romping through the historic district and the Guinness fueled revelry of Tybee Island's Irish Heritage Parade. And to be quite honest, though at the time it seemed a special level of hell, I really do miss tending bar during the greenest week of the year.
Celtic Peacocks
Celtic Peacocks, original in private collection, prints available.

 To cheer myself during the St. Patrick's season the past couple of years, I've had my own little celebration of my ancestry and favorite European culture by painting a Celtic themed piece whilst imbibing a few pints of the black stuff. Although the phrase "Luck of the Irish" is usually misused and taken out of historical context (it was first coined as an ironic phrase), this year I focused on the concept of luck.

  The traditional symbol of Saint Patrick is a shamrock with three leaves; each one representing a figure in the Holy Trinity. The shamrock was also seen by Brits as a symbol of dissent during the 19th century and worn to promote Irish nationalism.

Run O' Luck
Run O' Luck

It's no surprise that with a misunderstood phrase like "Luck of the Irish", many people would associate the popular lucky "charm" of a four-leaf clover with Ireland.
 Traditions says that each leaf of the 4-leaf clover stands for something-
~faith       ~hope      ~love      ~luck
 It's also estimated that there are 10,000 three-leaf shamrocks for every four-leaf clover found. Those aren't great odds, but there are clover collectors that have found as many as 160,000 recorded 4-leafs.

 But have you ever found a four-leaf clover? 
I've found a handful in my life; crawling around through the soft clover, breathing in the freshness of a cool day while the sun shines on my skin. When you find one, it really is like you hit the jackpot.
 I don't think I'd want a 4-leaf someone else picked. You do have to look pretty hard, but isn't that the fun of it?
It's all in the search.

 The core of St. Patrick's 3-leaf shamrock Trinity illustration and any good luck charm is faith.
Our belief dictates what we see. If we see our luck as running out, it probably will.
Our thought patterns train our brains to recognize what we tell them to see.
But maybe if we choose to focus on the minute details and evidence that things actually are going pretty swell, we will see our good luck mixing in, around, and overflowing.
Sometimes a physical trinket or charm helps to remind me to shift to a more positive mindset, and that's totally worth any eye rolling I may get from others.
 Many say a four-leaf clover is very lucky while others say you make your own luck. To both I say, yes.
And this year, I made both.
 What's your lucky charm?


  1. I am not Irish, but I had no problem being Irish for one day every year, lol.

  2. can't wait to get my Irish on in a couple of days. Great article


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