Christmas miracle? Wishing tree appears in North Austin park

Dec 12, 2017

In a small, shaded park in a North Austin neighborhood, a tree is telling stories.

It started a few weeks ago, when a Ziploc bag appeared containing a couple of Sharpies, some blank white paper tags and these instructions: “Write down your wish and tie it to the tree, where it will hang for others to see. Don’t forget to let it be — maybe it will come true, just wait. … You’ll see.”

Wishes written on pieces of paper are tied to a tree in Bruning Green Park. Some wish for health and happiness, while others wish for more ice cream or a deeper voice. ANA RAMIREZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Photo: American-Statesman Staff

The instructions weren’t signed, and the idea wasn’t attributed to anyone, but it launched a movement.

Now, the fingerlike branches of the “wishing tree” at Bruning Green Park off 52nd Street are adorned with dozens of wishes that run the gamut from frivolous to fun to heartbreaking, each one a reminder of the simple humanity that unites us all.

So far, at least one wish has been granted, too: “I wish for snow.”

The less-serious wishes tend to center on food, looks and material possessions — Louis Vuitton, a PlayStation 4 and “pizza without calories” are all requested.

“I wish my voice will get deep soon,” wrote one visitor, while another asked for the opportunity to “trick or treat every day.”

Caroline Touma, 22, ties a wish to a tree at Bruning Green Park earlier this month. ANA RAMIREZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Photo: American-Statesman Staff

One requested more Instagram followers, and another sought “one million more wishes.” Travel, animals, politics, world peace and baby ducks are also highlighted.

“I wish for a job,” one visitor wrote, to which another replied, on the same branch, “I wish to be happy at my job.”

Some wishes on the tree are surprisingly personal and filled with the sort of raw honesty that’s empowered by anonymity.

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“I wish that I will be able to have a baby,” one reads, while another begs for the chance to “talk to my mom again.”

“I wish for love,” one visitor wrote; on the back, in different handwriting, a reply: “This is my wish, too.”

Other heartfelt wishes?

“I wish for all the folks suffering from addiction to be helped.”

“I wish I wasn’t such a mess and people liked me.”

“I wish my partner would love herself as much as I love her.”

“I wish I could keep my family together.”

If you could have one wish, what would yours be?

Once you know it, maybe you should add it to the tree. After all, peace and solace — or even a granted wish — could be right around the corner.