Monday, June 8, 2009

The Wishing Tree

A few weeks ago I read a Post on the Crafty Chica’s blog about a tree she had encountered on a recent trip. Upon this tree hung all sorts knitted pouches tied on with various colored ribbon and fabric. Inside the pouches were tags with quotes and thoughts of visitors who had stopped by. It sounded magical. One of the quotes she was especially taken with was “Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet” by Willa Cather. Lovely isn’t it?

When I read this quote it got me thinking of the space beneath my own feet and the story we write in our own lives. How a tree like this tree could be part of our own family story.
In a remote corner of my yard is a fig tree that I’ve never liked. I didn’t really like where it was planted in the first place, the figs always seemed to be dry and bitter, and all around its base was an overgrown disaster of weeds and out of control Aloe Vera plants. About two weeks before I read this post, I had found a couple of rusted metal lanterns with pink fabric laying in one the vast mystery piles collected in my garage. I almost through out them both out, but for some reason thought of the fig tree, and how these lanterns couldn’t possibly make it look any worse. That evening when we sat outside to dinner, I could see their soft faded pink way up there and I liked it. The next day I wandered up the stairs inspired to pull a few weeds and attempt to tame the aloe. One weed led to another, and as I worked I began to see and a feel a transformation take place as I recognized our wishing tree.

Here are some “before” shots of what the area looked like and a few “after” shots of what it looks like now. I’m not sure if you can tell, but I added some stepping stones up to the tree, a good deal more lanterns, a new more lounge-like chair and few other little things to help draw us to visit what was once an all but abandoned part of our yard.
I thought it might be fun if friends contributed a quote, a wish or prayer for our tree. I’m not sure if I will laminate the tags or not. I like the idea of the tags hanging open to the elements like Tibetan Prayer flags that over the course of time disintegrate letting their prayers be carried along the wind. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this: how do we manage this tension of wanting to preserve things in a beautiful way or appreciating each moment and letting it go. We’ll see. It’s still a work in progress.