Work the brain before working the mouth. I’ve taught my kids this from the beginning, with varying degrees of success on the familial foot-in-mouth-count chart.

Because the things that can come out of a mouth that has not tethered itself firmly to the brain can be embarrassing at best, and often hurtful to those you least want to hurt.


Like the clover. 

I am sorry, little trefoil buddies, for insulting your integrity. You are not creamed spinach. You are heartier than that. You are stronger. 

The roadside clover population is looking good, recovering in full. Which, had I consulted my brain, I would have known to be true. For even after the long and strenuous winter that will make me wilt and shrivel, the drifts will melt away and there will be the clover, shrugging off the wet weight and springing back up like a champ. Some midwinters’ weakening may occur under there, silently, but it will simply not be enough to keep a good clover down.

This morning the clover is looking distinctly more robust than it was a few days ago. I cannot say that the armies are standing at full attention; forgive me guys, but you’re still looking a bit haggard in the ranks. But the winds are swiftly flipping them aright, and their stalks are lusty as mid-July. Their tough-as-nails cells have not popped like those of the lowly tomato flesh in my freezer, but they’ve stretched as needed, like a good rubber glove. They preserved their structural soundness under duress; they just looked like they were turning to creamed spinach.

And so it should be noted that I was wrong, and that the clover is tougher than me, and it will prove itself in due time, shining radioactive green under the mounds of snow that will cover it this winter. There will be no hesitation come spring. It will fluff back up with the sun, and then support me as I tread over it like a deranged toddler, oohing and aahing about everything bursting to life around me. I hope that I remember to look down.

Apologies to the cluff en total. I’ll be more careful with my words…

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