The Wishing Tree


It’s that time of year again. The new time of year. We look back, we look forward, and we look at where we are. We start sentences with, ‘This time last year…’ and see how far we’ve come.

I stumbled across a wishing tree soon after moving to Vancouver, and it stopped me in my tracks. It was fascinating and often heart-rending to look at the hopes people had hung there for anyone to read. In a way, when we look forward to a new year, it’s like decorating a fresh wishing tree with longing for the fruit we’d like it to bear. We reflect on our lives and revise our plans. We dream. But for our trees to flourish and our dreams to come to fruition, we need to do more than plant them, more than just write them down. We need to nurture them. We need to give them life, light and room to grow.

When I look back on last year, I came a pretty long way in terms of distance, but not in terms of dreams. While business smiled upon me and adventures were around every corner, I didn’t write as much as I wanted. And that was no one’s fault but my own. However, I have to let that go now. That’s last year’s tree. I didn’t water it enough. But I can change that this year.

And it’s not like I have lost anything. The time wasn’t wasted. I lived so much life last year, saw so many new places, experienced so many incredible things. Took so many pictures. I’ve heard those actually say a thousand words, and if that’s the case, perhaps I can claim I actually wrote a hell of a lot, just not in the way I envisioned.

But, like I said, that’s last year. Let’s look at where I am. Am I happy? Yes. Am I further than I was? Yes. Am I free to move forward? Yes. So that’s a start.

What of the year to come? I want to continue to immerse myself in beautiful places, in discovery, adventure and nature, but I need to find more words to go with the pictures. I need to find my voice again. I want my writing to thrive, wherever I’m living, whatever I’m doing.

I’ll keep snapping, appreciating every remarkable moment in time, but I want to move on with things as well as around places. I want to leave more of myself for someone to pick up and read. My published works consist of an only child at the moment, and that was never the plan. So this is the year I pull my trilogy together and climb my wishing tree, reaching the hopes and dreams hanging from its branches. Because I bet the view from the top is spectacular.

What are your resolutions? Can you let go of last year and nurture your dreams?

7 thoughts on “The Wishing Tree

  1. Deborah Makarios

    2017 is my Year of Persistence. I’ve come up with a couple of goals – get WIP to publication, start learning to make own clothes – but I feel I need to plan a bit more, think about other areas of my life I might need to be a bit more intentional in.

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Ah I read that and admired it – good luck with those goals! I love how you kept track of your days – I used to keep one line pocket diaries which were fun to flick back through, just noting the most pertinent achievement for the day. I should do it again. The computer calendar is so impersonal. I had too many resolutions last year, and many fell by the wayside, so I’m trying to keep it simpler this year!

  2. Ontyre Passages

    Oh how we love the neat little boxes we call days, weeks, months, and years. We humans who love to subdivide homes into rooms and land into parcels can’t resist carving up time, too. I suspect time snickers at our obsessive need for control.

    Still, all our planning is also about motivation and optimism. How wonderful that we can blame time. “It isn’t my fault! I wanted to sit around the last few months of the year, but time was running out. I had to pull those all-nighters to finish.”

    So, we’re left with scene and sequel. Last year I wrote a novel and its sequel and this year I’m editing them. Last year I wrote a small mountain’s worth of short stories and this year I’m editing them. I’m also setting up 2018. I’ll write the third novel to join the other two and add more short stories. Ongoing is learning craft and pursuing feedback.

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Ha that is definitely the way! I write and rewrite lists and categorise them and life-plan them, and slice and dice my months and weeks… You’ve been so productive! Best of luck with your year of editing, writing & learning!

  3. swiveltam

    Sounds like you have a great attitude. Sometimes it not so much accomplishing (writing), but in living to feed our soul so we can tell stories that matter and have depth. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Thank you Tam 🙂 The worlds we write are surely all the richer for the lives we live. Sometimes I really need to curb my impatience to produce so I actually enjoy the experience. I hope great things happen for you this year!


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