There is a special place in the garden outside my window. No plaques, but a tree that is ever green. I planted it just ten years ago. Seven years ago i introduced my daughter to this place. And i told her about the brother that wasn't. I told her that he was here. That he had raised this garden and would love it if she came and played with him sometimes. I told her that he was in the garden and that in many ways he was the garden also. She understood this as best a three year old can. Not long after, I found out she had been very busy at kinder telling her friends about Brother Tree. This, of course, lead to a number of interesting conversations with concerned parents. Some of whom thought perhaps I had made a bad decision introducing my daughter to the garden. At the time i was worried that maybe they were right.

One night i found a small and very recognisable stick with a few crumpled leaves sitting in a glass of water on my daughter's bedside table. She would have been about five at the time. She wasn't asleep yet and was playing with her toys in bed. I asked her about the stick in the glass of water. She had replied with such beautiful innocence. I will never forget it. She thought he might get lonely at night. She couldn't bring the whole tree inside. But she could bring in a twig. I remember being overwhelmed with a feeling of tenderness i had never known before. It had filled me and fills me still when I stop to think about it. I do not regret introducing my daughter to Brother Tree. I do not mind the name I planned for him has been lost and replaced. And when i stop and look outside to watch my daughter play i realise that through her i have found my son.