Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Christmas and The Wishing Tree
This is the wishing tree. It sits at the northeast corner of Yonge and Bloor, just a couple of streets from us. It first went up, in celebration of the Christmas season, last year. And immediately upon seeing it, Ruby's heart was captured. She could stand for hours just looking at it. Once she spent almost fifteen minutes slowly walking around it, looking up at the branches in awe, absolute wonder. When I'm giving her a lift in my wheelchair she likes me to rush ahead so that we can have the maximum amount of time at the tree as we wait for the others to catch up.
I don't know how but suddenly, in her mind, the tree became a holy place to her. She approaches it, reaches up and touches it, and closes her eyes. The first time she did this she looked from the tree to me and said, making an announcement, "This is the Wishing Tree." She noticed, once, that I always watched her wish but never did so myself. She levelled her gaze to me and asked, "Dave, why don't you ever make a wish." I was feeling a bit tired, and said, "Oh, Ruby, I'm a bit old and I don't remember how to make wishes like you do."
She said, not noticing that my eyes were glistening, "It's easy," and took my hand and placed it on the tree, "now close your eyes and wish for something you really, really, want." I did as she asked, realising that I don't think I've made a wish in a very long time. I use the word, "oh, I wish he would just shut up," or "oh, I wish this line would move faster," or "oh, I wish I didn't have to pee right now." But a true, deep down wish, that I haven't done in a really, really, really, long time.
She watched me make a wish.
"Wasn't that fun?"
I told her that it was because it was.
She asked me what I'd wished for and I explained to her that I couldn't tell her because that meant it wouldn't come true. She listened, thought for a second and said, "I don't think that wishes come with rules." Even so, she accepted with ease the fact that I'd kept my wish secret. And even though I suddenly wanted to tell her, I didn't.
On our way home from the Messiah, humming, 'For unto us a child is born' I stopped at the wishing tree. I put my hand on it just like I'd been taught. My first wish, yes, I'm telling you because wishes don't have rules. I think the little anarchist is right, was that Ruby's wishes at the wishing tree come true.
And I think, maybe they will.
A couple mornings ago, I was up early, Ruby was the next one up. She came quietly into the den where I have my computer set up, she likes to surprise (scare) us and, she stopped and watched, I did not know that she was there - as I had my head bowed in prayer. As I prayed I felt two arms reach around me and give me a hug. I smiled at her and hugged her back. "Were you wishing?" she asked, and I said, "No, I was praying."
"I thought so," she said,
"Because it looked like God was hugging you."
May you make many wishes.
May God hug you when you most need it.