Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Wish...

Rome has the Trevi fountain where you can make a wish by throwing a coin the right way into the water (you've got to turn your back to the fountain and throw the coin over your head. I didn't do it right and my wishes there never came true!) In Miami, you can make a wish in the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, at Yoko Ono's Wishing Grove. In case you do not know, Ono is the widow of famed Beatles' John Lennon. The Wishing Grove at Fairchild is a late entry in the year 2010 of a series of Wishing Tree creations that began in 1966 and sponsored by Yoko Ono. To make a wish, you get a small paper tag on which you write your ardent wish that you wish would come true. Then you tie it to a string or piggy back yours on the strings of other tags. Periodically volunteers remove the messages for storage in a clear plastic container in the Visitor Center of the garden, before moving them to permanent storage at the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island, Reykjavik, Iceland. Not sure what they do with them after that. Hope they don't plan to send them all to Santa.

The tree that was selected to be the wishing tree here is a Ficus racemosa which is a species of plant in the Moraceae family. Popularly known as the Cluster Fig Tree or Goolar (Gular) Fig, it is native to Australia, South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Its figs grow on the tree trunk where you see the dark blotches now that the fruits are gone. In India the tree and its fruit are called "gular" in the North and "atti" in the South.The fruits are a favorite staple of the common Indian macaque. In Vietnam, it is called sung. In northern Australia, this fig is the regular staple of the caterpillars of the butterfly the Two-brand Crow (Euploea sylvester.) Historically, Hindu and Buddhist ascetics, on their long trek to Taxila for pilgrimage, travelling through vast areas of Indian forests, used this fruit for food. A major problem of eating this fig is that it is always full of the fig wasps. Gular fruits are almost never sold commercially because of this problem. Did you know that these figs are used to fatten geese for the production of a precursor of foie gras? Yuk!

OK, my several wishes are on this tree today. If you could zoom in to find and read mine among the thousands on the tree, you'd know what I was wishing for. Don't you wish you knew?
I Wish...

No comments: