I wish I may, I wish I might

There are moments when our faith in people is restored.  Today there have been plenty as we watch neighbours help push each others cars out of snow drifts, offer tows and shovel one another’s driveways (or the odd celebrity on the block might even offer the assistance of a snowblower).

Yesterday after work, as S and I sat in credo enjoying our lattes, she told me about the wishing tree she read about in the metro.  Wishing Tree? My curiosity was peaked.  Where do wishing trees originate? There must be some sort of cultural significance behind it right?

Turns out, Edmonton’s very own wishing tree appeared recently at Grant Notely Park near the gazebo (also a common landmark for 109 st running room routes I might add).  The otherwise nondescript tree can be identified by the colourful notes of paper that hold the hopes and dreams of those who have taken the time adorn the tree.   Baird noted in her article that “the wishing tree speaks to the optimism of Edmontonians”.  We definitely agree.

Thankfully, this cabin fever ridden snow day gave me time to do some research.  From what I can find, the tree could be a take on the kissing tree or wishing tree, which was a Christmas tradition in Britain before the introduction of the “Christmas tree” and one of several Twelfth Night traditions.  If this is the case, there is more good news! Not only can you make a wish but you can claim the right to a kiss beneath the tree.  Another example is the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees in Hong Kong.  Often visited by tourists in the Lunar New Year, the two Banyan Trees are regarded as deities and it has long been customary for Taoists to place their wishes on the trees, with the belief that if they do not fall, your wish will come true.

Wishing Tree (Alison Baird/Metro)

I would ask you all what your wishes are, but as we all know, a spoken wish will never come true!


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