See a penny, pick it up
And all the day you'll have good luck.
Silly, isn't it? Yet I can't walk by the penny on the street without gathering it up.
Many people don't think a penny is worth the effort of bending. Indeed, many people dislike pennies altogether and campaign for their discontinuation. But my habit has nothing to do with worth or value, except the value of a serendipitous find. "Ah! A penny!"
It makes me feel lucky, if only for an instant. Perhaps the feeling spreads, for I do consider myself a fortunate person. And somehow generous: The homeless pennies find shelter with me.
I have expanded my luck ritual to beach walks as well as urban ones. I have never found a penny on the beach, but I do find sand dollars there with only slightly less frequency. And each time I do, it's like finding luck. My beach house has plenty of sand dollars lying around, yet I can't pass up another. "Ah! A sand dollar!"
I don't know why these finds bring so much delight. Maybe the habit speaks to the magical beliefs we all carry around deep in the human psyche. Or perhaps I'm just a simpleton, easily pleased and cheered.
Anyway, it's a bit of luck. Until, I guess, a bus runs me over or a rogue wave takes me out to sea when I stop to pick up the penny or dollar!