Write a wish and hang it from a tree. Or stand by the tree and make a wish.
Kalpavriksha is a wish-fulfilling divine tree in Hindu mythology, found in Sanskrit literature from the earliest sources.
Yoko Ono has written of wish trees in her native Japan: “As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”
Wish trees are found in Scotland, in Glasgow’s Hidden Garden at Pollockshields and at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Eskdalemuir, near Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
There is a famous wishing tree at Lam Tsuen in Tai Po, Hong Kong.
And one in the Florida Cypress Gardens. You don’t write a wish on this one. You just make it. But it’s famous.
And one at Redang Beach, Sekinchan, Malaysia.
And the famous wishing tree in Goreme Cappadocia, Turkey.
In San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, there is a wishing tree at Eureka and 22nd. It is seasonal. It is spectacular at night.
In Ireland, wishing Trees (aka May Bushes, Fairy Trees, or Rag Trees) are hawthorn trees where people tie ribbons to ask blessings from the local saints/deities/wee folk.
And, there is William Faulkner’s The Wishing Tree.
Faulkner wrote it in 1927. It is his only known children’s book. For the story of the book, read here.
In my strolls around Berkeley, I have found two full-fledged wishing trees. They are worse for the wear / worse for the weather, but in my book they rock and roll quirky.
Let’s start at 1874 Capistrano.
The wish on the bottom photo – wonderful! Stop throwing your friend’s hat into the tree!
The second wish tree is at 601 Jaynes.
Three years ago, there was a temporary wish tree in the verge (a.k.a. sidewalk strip a.k.a. Devil’s strip) next to the Jewish Community Center.
In November, 2013, passersby were asked to describe what they were thankful to see leaving this season.
Earlier that year, in April 2013, I spotted these wishing sign posts in the Uplands:
A lot of wishes!
I am enchanted by these wishing trees. I want one! How simple can it be? Just need a tree in the verge / devil’s strip / sidewalk strip. My first wish – I wish we could save the Village.
I asked my friend for his take on the post. He remembered a wish tree in a “certain small town” that he finds completely charming.
That’s well and good. But, my friend, what about this post?