Knock on Wood

Today’s one word prompt is;  superstition.  Even though there are a lot of personal and emotional things I’d love to pour out, I’ll take the shallow, easy path of superficial flotsam about my views on superstition.


I think of myself as ‘too smart’ for superstition. I thumb my nose walking under a ladder, as long as there isn’t someone on it. I’ll let a black cat run in front of me without fear. Sometimes I would step on a crack but only if it was too awkward to break my stride. Now that my mother has passed away I don’t have to worry about her breaking her back.

But Knocking on Wood; that’s a small glitch in my intellect that I cannot shake. If I say something along the lines of “That will never happen!” I feel the pressing need to knock on wood.

In my 63 years I have found that you can never say never. Things you expect to happen, don’t.  Things you say will never happen, do.

So it’s important to knock on wood.  Actually,  I wasn’t sure why so I went to Wikipedia. I guess it depends on what’s deep in my DNA.

“In  Serbia and Croatia there is the habit of knocking on wood when saying something positive or affirmative about someone or something and not wanting that to change.”

“In Spain tocar madera” (literally: to touch wood) is something that you say when you want your luck or a good situation to continue”

“In Egypt Emsek El Khashab إمسك الخشب” (Hold the wood),  people say it when mention good luck that you have had in the past or when you mention hopes you have for the future. The expression is usually used in the hope that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged.”

Apparently, the spirits in the trees will hear you if you knock.  I knew it was something to do with earth spirits but sometimes you are in an environment where you are hard pressed to find wood. Many times I have knocked on gummed up press-board or even paper and not felt safe enough.

There’s nothing like the feel of real wood under your knuckle to ward off those mischievous spirits.

Wikipedia states, also, that you only have to say ‘knock on wood’ to protect yourself. I’ll keep that in mind. Next time I will visualize an ancient oak, deep in Fairy woods.

“So listen up, buster and listen up good:

  stop wishin’ for bad luck and knockin’ on wood!”   …… John Prine