It may be the end of summer, but there’s one tree in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood that’s blooming with a new type of bud – wishing letters.
A tree on the south end of the pedestrianized in-street park on Jervis Street, between Burnaby and Harwood streets, has been taking on hundreds of messages and letters with wishing inscriptions from passersby and visitors.
Some wishes are serious. Others, not so much, providing much-needed comic relief for anyone reading it.
“I wish that people would not use this beautiful park as an ash tray,” read one wishing message. “Please take your butts home!”
Another person wrote: “I wish I could eat all the food without ever getting fat!”
Messages are written in pen on everything from makeshift tags made from paper shopping bags with handles to expensive luggage tags.
It’s unclear when exactly the wishing messages began, but according to a resident who lives near the park they have been there for at least a few months and growing ever since.
In the Chinese culture, the tradition of wishing trees dates back several hundred years with villagers tossing their wish papers onto tree branches during festivals and holidays. It is believed that the higher the branch the paper is strung on, the more likely that wish will come true.