Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

An idea: Showing kindness on St. Patrick’s Day March 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,
In March 2015, friends planted shamrocks in my yard on St. Patrick’s Day. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2015)

WITH TWO DAYS until St. Patrick’s Day, there’s still time to pull off some leprechaun magic. The type of magic that will bring joy into someone’s day, just like it did mine eight years ago.

Let me explain by first qualifying that I am neither Catholic nor Irish. But I do like the color green. In fact, it’s my favorite hue. And I do have some really loving friends.

The scene in my yard on St. Patrick’s Day 2015. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2015)

On St. Patrick’s Day 2015, I opened my living room curtains to a field of shamrocks planted in my yard. I dashed outside on that sunny March morning without an inch of snow on the ground (yes, unbelievable in Minnesota) to solve the mystery.

The leprechaun even shamrocked our van. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2015)

My route took me through the garage and past our van parked in the driveway. Tucked behind a windshield wiper was a shamrock. Onward I went toward that field of green, centered by one oversized three-leaf clover. I’VE BEEN SHAM ‘ROCK’ED read a printed message on that central shamrock.

Immediately I suspected one of two young families. It didn’t take long to determine that Jesse and Tammy and kids had undertaken this St. Patrick’s Day surprise. Young Jack signed his name with his words, “You are smart.” Oh, Jack, you little leprechaun.

This sign explained what was happening in my yard on St. Patrick’s Day. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2015)

The happiness I felt, the overwhelming love I felt for these dear, caring friends touched me in a way that left me smiling all day. That they would craft these paper shamrocks and then volunteer Jesse to sneak into our yard before daybreak, before he commuted to his job in the metro, to plant these clovers impressed me. What kindness. What love.

I realize the time remaining until St. Patrick’s Day is short. But if you have the time and inclination, I encourage you to “shamrock” a neighbor, a friend, anyone in need of a little joy. Personalize the shamrocks with messages that uplift. I assure you, the recipient will feel gratitude for your loving act of kindness. I did. Eight years later, that March 17 remains memorable. I was gifted not with the luck of the Irish, although shamrocks symbolize good luck, but rather with happiness by a friendly family of leprechauns.

© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling