It was a fact, everyone at my school loved the cherry tree. It was tradition for the students to take a leaf, and write anything they wanted on it. They were then instructed to tape that leaf back on the tree, and see who would last all four seasons. The winners would be announced to the class, and wanted mine to be the one to last. The significance of this was that whatever it was you wrote, it would only stay if you wrote it from
The heart. I found this to be true because all the former student’s notes were heartwarming. This is not to say what you wrote didn’t mean anything, rather how much you really meant it.
This tradition was called wishing upon the cherry tree, and every middle school student looked forward to graduating to be part of the cherry tree. This year it was my turn, and I wanted to show the tree how much I meant the wish that I would provide it with.
“Good morning class, I would like to go over some ground rules about the tree. This tree isn’t a wishing well, so don’t go asking it to make you taller, or kinder. Keep in mind, this tree is not a genie. You will know your leaf has lasted if you see your wish come true. Again, there is something called a coincidence, but we will just have to wait and see. If you dare snatch someone’s leaf without letting it fall on its own, you will no longer be allowed to take part in wishing upon the cherry tree, and they will get to write a new leaf.” Mrs Pines explained.
“I have a question.” I said.
“Go ahead, Gracie.”
“What happens if all the leaves fall? Especially in the winter.”
“Well, that just means none of you meant it.” She laughs.
“If there aren’t any further questions, I would like all of you to pluck a leaf from the tree, write your wish outside, and take the tape outside and tape it. Once you are done, return back to the classroom. One leaf per person please, we don’t want it to look like winter when we are only in the fall.”
The kids rush out of the classroom and push each other out of the way so they could grab the leaf first. I noticed that the kids didn’t even look at the leaf they were plucking. I inspected the tree carefully, noticing which leaves had a darker shade of pink than the other. I visioned a winter morning, and eliminated what leaves I believed wouldn't last. I began feeling each leaf, noticing different textures in each.
“Gracie, I think you are thinking too hard about this.” Polly said.
“It needs to be the perfect leaf, or else it won’t last.” I explained.
“Everyone is already inside, you are the only one out here. I am not going to wait for you if you are going to take this long.”
I looked around, and she was right. Everyone was already back inside. I felt confident about the leaf I was looking at, and plucked it from the tree. I wrote the note and tapped it with a single piece of tap, because if we used more than one piece it would be considered cheating.
“Ready to go back inside?” Polly asked.
“Yes,” I said.
We walked back in, and I took one last look at the tree wishing for it to stay.
“Well class, now that you all have tapped your notes on the tree, let’s begin with the lesson.”
I wasn’t able to pay attention to the teacher, as I found myself staring out the window at my leaf. I mentally began talking to it, hoping that it would hear me. I didn’t want to win. I just wanted the wish to come true.
I kept track of the results each season, and this is what I was able to come up with:
Fall: 30 kids in the class put one leaf on the tree, by the end of fall, there was 25
Winter: 25 leafs were on the tree, by the end of winter there was 10
Spring: 10 leafs were on the tree, by the end of spring there was 3
It was currently summer, the last season before the winner was announced. My leaf was one of the three still standing. It looked as if they were hanging by a strand, but I remained hopeful. I wanted so badly to stand next to it, but I didn’t want to be blamed if one of theirs fell.
“Congratulations to the top three, Gracie, Polly, and Jack! It can be anyone’s game! At the end of the game, the top three will share what they wrote, and I will tell you why the person who won deserved the win. I have had the best year with all of you, and you all have done amazing in your class performance! Take that as a win if you are a person who’s leaf didn’t make it past the first season.” Mrs Pines said.
The summer flew by, and it was finally the last day of school. There were three leaves on the tree, by the end of the summer there was one. That one leaf was mine.
“Let’s review our runner ups of the competition, Polly, Jack, what did you have written on the tree?”
“I wish that I had a baby sister.” Polly said.
“I’m sorry your wish didn’t come true.” Mrs Pines said.
“It’s not all bad though, my parents are finally getting along now! In the beginning of the year they wanted a divorce, now they want to be together!”
“Well then a baby sister isn’t completely out of the picture!” Mrs Pines said.
“I wished for this tradition to last forever.” Jack said.
“Well I can see why that wish lasted long, but we don’t know what the future will hold my dear.”
“I honestly didn’t know what to write.” Jack admitted.
“And finally, one first place winner! Congratulations to Gracie! Speaking of which, where is she?”
I walked in the classroom with a grand entrance, and I flipped my hair back. My hair had pink highlights, and a cherry pattern ribbon on my head. I had a cherry dress on, and I felt like a princess.
“Look at you, Gracie! Would you like to share what you wrote on the tree?”
“I would love to.”
I took the slip of paper from out of my pocket, and began reading.
“All of my life I was bullied. It wasn’t until I met Polly that I knew I was cared about, but what if she stopped liking me? In the letter, I wished that I would be more popular, and that the universe would be able to change my appearance in such a way that would make people want to be around me, rather than wanting to run away.”
The kids in the room began to tear up, and tuned in to what I was saying.
I did a small twirl and showed off my dress.
“I wished specifically that I can have a great four years of highschool, without letting kids get in the way of that.”
“Gracie, I am happy to inform you that you are now the princess of the cherry tree!”
The kids in the room clapped, and Polly ran in to give me a hug.
“I will never stop liking you bestie! You are practically a sister to me!”
“Which leads me to what I want my wish for next year to be!”
We both laughed and we thanked the teacher for a great year. There was no judgment in the classroom, but everyone was now friends with each other. The tree has made us come together, as companions. Something we all had in common, the pleasure of wishing something upon the beautiful cherry tree.