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  • Writer's pictureV. Sabarese

A Spontaneous Ray of Sunshine

“The ray of sunshine on the street," a woman said to me, as she passed The Wishing Tree while walking her dog. During the mid-morning hours, I have been hanging wishes on Eureka Street's The Wishing Tree. I also met a 3 and half year old girl, we will call her Eliza. She wished for a walker to help her nearly one year old sister learn to walk. Eliza did not forget to wish for glass slippers for herself.

If not for The Wishing Tree, I would not have interacted with Eliza, her little sister, or their mom. Her nanny and mom exchanged the two children on the sidewalk next to me. A mundane interaction, yet The Wishing Tree and I witnessed it today. I met four new people I would have otherwise not known.

During the first season of The Wishing Tree, I felt like I was creating a wild and mystical event. I did not know where this event would take me. I wanted to be the elusive gnome that kept the wishing jar filled with blank tags. Tags that were ready to journey into a fellow neighbor's (or tourist's) hands. Hands that wrote spontaneous messages of desire or gratitude. Written messages that materialized into a full blown intention.

The Wishing Tree continues to surprise and present me with acts of beauty from neighbors, to men working construction on Eureka Street. Babies oooh and grab for the bright white lights or the shiny sequined ribbons hanging from the tree. Ribbons that fiercely hold onto precious thoughts. Thoughts and wishes that found there way onto paper tags. One wish states “I want to be adored and held in someone's arms," read by another person who yearns for a sweetheart. These two strangers, perhaps, feel a little more connected to humanity on a supernaturally cold night in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.

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