For all of us who have ever had and lost a pet, we know how big a place in our hearts they continue to occupy long after they’re gone. Last year we heard a rumor that there was a place deep within Central Park where people who lost their pets gathered to hang mementos on a tree. We could only find one article written on it, and no where could we find a hint of where in the park the tree might be. But at Untapped Cities, we do love a sleuthing challenge, so we set out to find it. It was no easy task but find it we did. This year, we heard that the ornaments started going up last week and set out to find it again this year.
Central Park is a busy place until you get to this area where, on a cold and overcast day you might walk on several paths before coming upon another person. With great determination, we stuck with it. Even though there are very few leafy obstructions, the tree is set back off a path that makes it difficult to be seen unless you are actually upon it.
Each ornament lovingly put together–some of them photos and some were pet toys with a hook for hanging. Some of them had names and a few kind words. Most were laminated and hung with ribbons and hooks. Unlike last year, there wasn’t anyone there but we know from last year’s experience that it is a place where people come to remember and to share their memories, and like proud parents, show their mementos. It is also a place to sit and quietly remember.
There’s still lots of room on the tree and we know it will be filled by Christmas with many more portraits and toys of the pets so loved by this group of people who have made this a Holiday tradition. And as they wish to keep it a secret, so do we.