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The Broken Tree and the Butterfly Garden

We once had a grand tree in front of our home.
It was the source of many years of enjoyment and comfort.
It was a haven for birds and wild creatures.
During holidays, I would decorate it for the neighborhood.

It faced many terrible storms. It had bowed before. But one unyielding heavy weight of a snowstorm was too much. I woke to find broken over my car. I picked up the limbs and pulled it away, and I had no choice but to saw away at the pieces of what was left of my friend the grand tree into pieces. I was saddened at its loss all winter. In the spring, we tried to bring a small piece of it back. There was a small shoot of the tree’s remnant in the roots that we tried to bring back, and we built braces to help it grow. But it too could not survive the struggle of time.

Our grand tree was now gone for good. For years, we left it a dark place, which we mulched over, to conceal its loss. It was a source of daily regret and bitterness as I looked at where it had once been.

But eventually we decided to rebuild. So on the place where the grand tree once stood, we now built a butterfly garden, with all types of tall flowers, and places for the birds to celebrate once again. The butterfly garden stands now where the broken tree was. I still remember the broken tree, but most will not, and our new neighbors and visitors will only remember the butterfly garden.

The butterfly garden is a haven for birds and wild creatures, including our friendly squirrels and rabbits who visit our home. It is a place of joy for the neighborhood.


We can struggle and defy many challenges, but we cannot defy the march of time. We have no choice but to move on with time.

We can wring our hands over the broken trees in our lives, and endlessly try to bring them back. Or we can move forward and build the butterfly gardens where they once stood, and create new ways for joy and comfort in our lives and in the lives of others.