The Community College of Vermont, where I teach as an art instructor, was recently invited to participate in the Bennington Museum Festival of Trees. In collaboration with a colleague, Janet Groom, some local enthusiasts, and a classroom of watercolor students, we made it happen. Of course this would be no ordinary holiday tree. Instead of the lovely evergreen, I pulled a sparse tree from my backyard that had been blown over during Hurricane Irene. Students painted and folded paper butterflies which made their way to the branches of our wintry tree. A bowl of smaller paper butterflies was placed next to the tree in the museum, encouraging visitors to write down a hope they might have for the future. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and its devastating effect on area residents, we wanted this tree to lift the spirits of those who saw it. Like the throwing of a coin into a wishing well, those who wrote a message on a paper butterfly were given a chance to voice their hopes for themselves, for others, for the world.