How to make a lucky penny

I would like to introduce my friend Catie. Vivacious, talented, incredibly fun and full of life Catie. I met her because she was best pals with my husband when we first began dating, and I am ever glad. This is a woman who is bawdier than me, hilarious, very beautiful, and a terrific person. Lucky me, she is also a writer (a great one, to boot!) and she has kindly offered her words to grace the “cover” of Be Nice. today. I hope you enjoy her refreshing perspective. I know I did!

(Reprinted below courtesy of Catie Riley-Wright.)

Image copyright Jennifer Hunold 2012

How To Make A Lucky Penny

“See a penny, pick it up; then all day, you’ll have good luck.” We’ve all probably heard some version of the saying, and I bet many of us have picked up a penny or two from time to time, heeding the superstition.

In regards to a recent purchase, my change was some bills and one penny. I know a lot of people freely give their pennies to that small dish on the counter that may or may not display some type of catchy poem about how you should leave a penny because there may be a point in time when you are the one who needs a penny.

Well, I didn’t leave my penny in the dish.

I’m kind of a penny weirdo; I always have to check the year on pennies when I come into contact with them. The reason for this dates back to an incident that occurred to me several years ago, and I suppose by checking the pennies’ years, it is sort of a confirmation to me that I didn’t conjure up some fabrication of what actually occurred. (Maybe that story can be another post.)

So, even though I saw the little red penny tray there on the counter, and even though the thought flitted through my mind to toss it in there, the penny was a bit dingy so it took some time for me to make out the year, and since I typically try not to make a spectacle of myself (hey, I said ‘typically’), I wasn’t going to eye the little slab of copper right there at the counter. Naturally, I went on my way. After exiting the store, I was finally able to decipher the year: 1994. ‘94 was an awkward year, what with being a freshman in highschool and all, and I have no real emotional ties to that one. Clearly, this was just a regular old penny.

Usually, when I get to the car bearing loose change, I plunk my change into the little space in the dash; you know, my own little “Leave a penny…” tray, just in case I ever need one. But not this time.

I held this one tight as I walked to the car, and into it, I poured love. And before I flicked it onto the pavement, I prayed a hearty prayer for whomever will be the discoverer of said penny. I prayed for any troubles they may have to dissipate, for love and compassion to encompass their life, for their life to immediately improve, and for them to learn whatever it is they are here to learn so that soul growth results. The penny clanked against the asphalt, rolled a bit, wobbled, then came to rest. I gave it one last look, sending as much positivity as I could as I walked onward.

As I got into my car and started it up, I visualized a person finding it and taking a moment to stoop down to pick it up, and I imaged in my mind that person, eyes closed, sending an intention, a wish into the Universe after having discovered their lucky penny. And for those few seconds, I imagined their life being truly blessed.

Now, I’ve come across a lot of pennies on the ground in my day: shiny ones, dull ones, corroded ones, bent ones, ones with significant years, ones with years I’d rather forget. But today it occurred to me the possibility that any one of those pennies that I have discovered on the ground during this lifetime may not have been accidentally dropped (or placed there by a guide or angel or deceased loved one)… the possibility that somewhere along the line, there may have been another individual in the world who had the same instinct as I did and blessed a penny and sent it off with well wishes… the possibility that my life is such a beautiful one due to a stranger sending out a random prayer and positive intention.

Maybe, just maybe, the previous owner of one of my metal treasures sent a similar intention:

“That thou mayest have pleasure in everything,
seek pleasure in nothing.
That thou mayest know everything,
seek to know nothing.
That thou mayest possess all things,
seek to possess nothing.
That thou mayest be everything,
seek to be nothing.”

(-St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel)

About Catie Riley-Wright: Catie’s passion for writing began to blossom at an early age. Writing stories, poems, and keeping journals continues to be a part of her everyday life. She is the youngest of seven children and is a true “youngest child” at heart. A lover of travel, she has visited many foreign countries in her adult life, and has spent a bulk of time living and teaching in Asia.

Upon graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Elementary Education, Catie relocated to Texas to be near her immediate family. She has since continued her studies, mostly informally, in the field of writing. She currently serves as a teacher and freelance writer.

2 thoughts on “How to make a lucky penny

  1. Catie is my cousin so I’ll comment. Not so much about Catie, but about the story itself. My brother-in-law, often takes his loose change down to the playground at the elementary school and throws it in the sand for the kids to find. I doubt he says some wishy washy prayer, but nonetheless, both individuals are pretty cool people.

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