Our neighborhood is filled with big, beautiful trees that line our streets. In the fall, they burst into bright colors but our friend and neighbor, Karen Adamski (aka ShamaMama), has transformed the tree in front of her house into a brilliant array of color year round.
She created a Good Juju Tree about five years ago and it’s become a source of inspiration and joy in our neighborhood. Here’s the sign that hangs on the tree above a basket filled with scraps of fabric:
Good Juju Tree
Tie a cloth as you say or think a wish, a prayer or a positive thought.
The breeze will carry the good juju throughout our community and beyond.
Tying new cloth alongside the old symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes … new beginnings, transitions and everything in between.
I asked her how she got the idea and she said it just came to her. She had heard about wishing trees before but she realized that she wanted something more — she wanted to spread good juju and this was a great way to do that.
In the beginning, she wrapped some chicken wire around the tree, put up a little sign and tied a few scraps of fabric. Then she watched as, over the years, people have come to the tree and added more fabric along with their hopes, wishes and prayers. The massive tree has layers upon layers of love — from fabric scraps and ribbons to old clothes torn into strips and yarn. In addition to cloth items, the tree is sprinkled with a few dream catchers, prayer flags and tinkling bells.
Sometimes you see a family walk by together and stop and stare before members each take a piece of fabric and tie it on; the small children add theirs near the base while the parents reach high. Other times it might be a young couple with their dog who pause for a moment before stopping to spread some good juju. And I’ve even seen an elderly neighbor take a seat on a nearby bench and just watch the fabric float in the wind and enjoy the gentle ringing of bells.
When the global pandemic hit and life changed so dramatically, Karen wondered if the good juju tree would still be used. I’m happy to report that interest in the tree is still strong — people are looking for good juju now more than ever.
Karen says it’s practically free, super easy and a great way to make people happy — and she’s right. I’m grateful to live in a neighborhood where good juju is being spread far and wide.