PHOENIX, Arizona February 22. THERE is a magical tree on the property that is home to the Phoenix Swim Club where wishes come true. The tree is next to the walk-in entrance where hundreds of children are dropped off each day before their swim practice. It was a daily ritual for swimmers to step through its wide-spread branches while making a wish or an affirmation statement. It was part of the visualization process taught in the early days of the Phoenix Swim Club where dreams came true and no goal was too high.
Statements like: “I am going to be a state champion,” “I am going to achieve a national ranking,” “I am going to get a college swimming scholarship,” or “I am going to make the Olympic team” privately flowed into the trees branches over the years as athletes stepped through the twisted trunks that formed a wishbone arch. It was considered unlucky to touch the tree.
Through the years, the wishes have evolved to include more personal goals and challenges from those who swim in the warm waters just beyond the trees sweeping branches. Adults with personal challenges and those with heart and health condition pass by every day. Children who are blind, can't walk or have special needs such as autism or Downes Syndrome have passed under its peaceful shade. The property is a community blend of all ages and lifestyles.
Today the wishbone tree still stands, but few know of the tradition. It now has a blue ribbon around it as part of the inventory process required by the city before it can be removed. The owners of the property are trying to sell it to a developer who plans to build 35, two-story tract homes over the pools. The wishbone tree will surely be cut down along with the dreams of many.
If the wishbone tree could make its own wish, it would be for the pools to remain and that a yellow ribbon be placed around all that is good on the property. Nothing would make this tree happier than for people to once again pass through its branches.