Yesterday we went to a birthday party. Friends and neighbors gathered to celebrate Nina Bee’s first year of life. Small talk was inevitable as not all attendants were intimately acquainted. As I refilled my wine I became privy to one of these space-filling conversations; an enticing discussion about clover. Enjoying my fly-on-the-wall status I feigned activity and listened in.
“Well,” said one person, “ the clover in this neighborhood is really the fault of so and so up the street. She’s all organic. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But her grass is full of clover and now it’s migrated to our yard.”
“Oh that’s terrible” said another, “no one wants a yard full of clover.” They went on to discuss the various merits of herbicides used to eradicate this evil invader from their lawns.
I quietly slipped away. You see our yard is blanketed in clover. Initially we were going to eliminate it as removal seemed the neighborly thing to do. But then we read the ingredient list on the herbicide bottle. We quickly decided we’d rather have clover than odd growths on our children or an eight-eyed school of fish downstream. And so we went against the first suburban commandment and simply let the clover be.
And here’s my dirty little secret ... I like the clover.
It’s green. It doesn’t die off when the dogs pee on it. Were it not for clover our lawn would be entirely yellow/brown (I’m not joking). Instead our lawn is peppered with little white flowers that attracts bees. These bees, though they come with stingers, are good for environment. Shoes are a good idea when playing on our “grass”. It’s a fair trade; shoes for environmental friendliness.
When the kids are bored I can send them out to search for four leaf clovers. I’m willing to bet families with “perfect” lawns can’t get their kids to go out and pick through the grass as a form of entertainment. Besides these kids would probably contract some sort of mutagentic disease if they were to do so.
And there you have it. Perhaps I’m lazy. Perhaps I’m a hippie. Perhaps I’m the dredge of the neighborhood. Or, perhaps, I’m all three. What I do know is I like fish with two eyes, children without growths and my blanket of clover.