We moved onto land with scattered patches of overgrown weeds, shrubs, and vines. There is one rather large patch between our house and barn. When we bought this house I had no idea what was hidden in those weeds but one man who helped us move said it was a butterfly garden. You’d have to have an eye to see it, and he did. Sure enough, every week throughout the summer and deep into the fall we witnessed varieties of blooming flowers opening and closing like little fireworks on the horizon, each attracting their own butterflies and hummingbirds. We could never go in the garden as the rocks and trees were covered in Poison Ivy.
We are now deep in the winter and everything has died off or gone dormant. Left behind are rocks with various shapes, sizes, and colors. There is an old bathtub buried in the stones that, in its day, must have been used as a fountain or gold-fish pond. An old barrel, which I imagine must have contained flowers, sits by on the edge of the garden next to a stone pathway. There’s a rock in the shape of a squirrel nestled among the other rocks, as well as an old lantern and wind chime. One large bolder, in the shape of a chair, rests on the opposite side of the garden along the other end of the path. It’s not a large garden, but it’s full of mystery and wonder.
We had a warm front come through this week so I decided to put “Clean out Butterfly Garden” on my “To-Do” list. As I began to excavate, I realized this was no small endeavor. The abundant rocks made it difficult to rake out the fallen leaves and gave my brand new garden hoe a bend as I dug up unwanted roots and weeds. As I persevered, I realized this place was much too sacred for any “To-Do” list and would require much more time and energy to unveil. There was no little thought put into the creation and design of this place. No, someone had poured their heart and soul into it. As I continued clearing away branches, pruning trees, and pulling back vines I realized this place deserved to be redeemed and preserved. Each rock had its own intentional purpose. Some served to support trees while others served as part of the foundation. Some stones were placed intricately together to form a pathway while others were just there for decoration.
The home had been given away to an inherited son who immediately flipped it and sold it to make a profit. The previous owners certainly seemed to appreciate the home but only lived there for a couple of years before taking a job in the city. They had rented it out to tenants who had no regard for the land or house – leaving it filthy and the land over-grown and unattended. We have picked up wheel-barrels of trash – some of which must have been here since the turn of the century – things like an old tractor steering-wheel and springs from an old bed.
There was a time that someone had cared deeply about this place. The butterfly garden is proof. As a very nostalgic person, I can appreciate that and so, I am making it my ambition to revive it. I’ve only cleared about an 8th of the garden, but already I feel as though I am digging up an old buried treasure.
The Lord has been speaking to me about enjoying the journeys in life instead of focusing on the end result. This project seems to be the perfect opportunity to practice that concept. I’ll admit that I was a bit stressed at first when I realized I wouldn’t be able to immediately check it off my list, but now, I’m excited to see what unravels little by little. After all, a treasure doesn’t come without a little mud and dirt and hard work. I may not find any gold or diamonds, but I think the reward will be well worth it.
This will be an on-going post as I uncover more treasures and insight from the butterfly garden….