5.31.2014

The Wishing Tree

Growing up there was a large oak tree that lived in the center of my neighborhood. Anyone from New York knows these kinds of trees are to be revered; as their existence is dwindling next to shadow casting skyscrapers. On weekends where my Grandmother would visit, we'd sit under the tree together and talk about life. Now, me as a seven year old, life consisted of the newest Barbie and whether or not I was allowed to ride my bike without a helmet. Clearly, I was all about the bigger issues back then. A visionary--if you will.  Yet, we'd sit together happy as clams and I'd share my most daring of dreams and look up to a green and blue sky, eyes wide with hope. 

It was at the end of an afternoon with my Grandmother that she proclaimed this large tree to be our wishing tree. Whenever something seemed out of reach by my tiny hands, I was to sit underneath the magical leaves of the wishing tree and make a wish.  Initially I frowned in my childish skepticism, 
"What if I want the highest leaf? A wish won't let me reach it." My grandmother laughed and patted my head,
"Wishes bring everything a little bit closer, then it's your job to reach for it."

Now that I'm grown I think of this tree often and the magic it provided to my childhood. This tree would actually be the subject of my first piece of literature, a crying post, and a immovable moment in time when I first believed. It gave me hope that beyond a regimented life, there lies a path for those who still believe in magic. A path for only the courageous, the strong, and the wonderful wanderers. A tree, of all things,  provided me with the foundation of believing in something you cannot see. 

One day when I have children of my own, they will have wishing trees. Right along with their Abc's, they will learn that nothing is more than a wish and a reach away. For most of my achievements began as silly wishes, a wish for something not yet defined. Always wanting more and wishing for the next star barely out of reach; this is the birth of ambition. There have been many who told me that my wishes cannot, could not, and would not come true. But I've always known better.

Because years ago, on a Saturday, a young girl was given a wishing tree. And with that tree, the idea that if you want something badly enough....nothing, not even the highest leaf is out of reach.

Make a wish.

Kristin.

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