Yesterday I was reminded of one of my favorite childhood memories. Near my grandmother's home, next to the school bus stop for her neighborhood, was an old fruit tree (I think it was a pear) which had a hollow in it the perfect size and shape for a child to place things in.
I had just gone to live with my grandmother, and was feeling alone and frightened by the prospect of going to a new school. As I walked up to the bus stop, I noticed the tree hollow and saw something inside catch the light. When I looked in I found a treasure of marbles, ribbons, old holiday ornaments and pennies. And notes. Small scraps of paper with carefully written notes. The one which I read asked for "Bethie to stop taking my stuff." I quickly realized, the way children often do, that this was a special tree, and that I shouldn't read other peoples' wishes. But the next day, and the weeks and months that followed, I put my own offerings and wishes into that hollow. Some came true, some didn't. But knowing that such a thing existed made the sudden change my life had taken a little less scary. So if you see an unoccupied tree hollow, make an offering and make a wish.