The wonders of the Wishing Tree

Print Article


Staff Writer

Every wish is as unique as the wisher who wished it.

Rather than whispering them to the stars, those who visited the University of Idaho Extension Master Gardeners at the North Idaho State Fair had the ability to write down their wishes and hang them on the branches of an old tree that is now a permanent fixture of the fairgrounds.

"Our Wishing Tree is a place that provides both peace and inspiration to all who visit," said Idaho Master Gardener program coordinator Kara Carleton. "This symbol of inspiration shows that everybody can do a little something with their hopes and dreams. Participants were inspired to write a wish, or leave words of gratitude, on a colored wristband and attach it to the tree. They could face the wish inward, or outward. Placing or reading a wish allows the individual peace knowing your wish has been released and/or heard."

Fairgoers shared their wishes and words of gratitude on neon wristbands and stuck them to pieces of twine weighed down by metal washers.

"They range from serious to silly," Carleton said. "Wishes for pets, large and small and even mythical; better health; strength to make a change in life or succeed with one already in place. There are wishes surrounding kindness, recognition, family members, getting a family and well wishes for other family members. Some wishes involve current topics in our town and world, more food on their tables, support succeeding in college and wishes about traveling to new places."

Inspiration for the wishing tree comes from ancient tradition that is practiced all over the world. The tree itself originally comes from Carleton's in-laws' home in Everett, Wash.

"The actual tree was originally from my in-laws’ home (Susie and Dallas Carleton) in Everett, Wash.," Carleton said. "It was a 40-year-old pear tree that had to be removed. I knew just the place to give it a second life. My in-laws were as excited about the project as I was. Without skipping a beat, once the tree was cut down, they packed it into a rental truck and brought it over 350 miles (over Easter weekend) and helped install it on the Kootenai County Fairgrounds."

She said an unexpected effect of the tree was the social experience.

"I knew it would be powerful, but I am humbled with the amount of folks who participated in this project," Carleton said. "They trusted kindness and intention. They pictured their ideal, wrote it down and placed it out there into the world. Participants also took it upon themselves, per the instructions, to read the wish of another person placed on the tree. That in and of itself is an act of kindness, to release that wish for someone else by reading it and 'sending it off.' Without knowing each other, they connected and served another person in our community. We are proud to be a part of that."

By the end of fair week 2019, the Wishing Tree was a colorful collection of hundreds of dreams and good tidings yet to come true.

Print Article

Read More CoeurVoice

Business heating up for candlemakers

October 15, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Gray skies, chilly evenings and a myriad of colors lazily falling from trees. It could mean only one thing: Autumn has arrived. For candlemakers Ransom and Sarah Storm of Coeur d’Alene, it also mean...

Read More

Fast Five: Renata McLeod

October 15, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Staff Writer Meet Renata McLeod, the municipal services director of the City of Coeur d’Alene, which includes the appointed role of city clerk. She celebrated her 30th year with the city this summer...


Read More

Producing in the off season

October 12, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press These entrepreneurs love local. And they deliver. Offering largely homegrown and regionally produced fresh food, an ambitious group of familiar faces at local farmers markets has joined forces to ke...


Read More

The common-sense dog

October 12, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By STEPHANIE VICHINSKY The Common-sense Dog We’ve discussed a lot of different scenarios that can lead to behavioral issues in our dogs, but what about life stages in the dog and the behavioral cha...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy