Today I saw a monarch butterfly. It was the only one I have seen this summer, and I am sad. I have been preserving all the milkweed that has been coming up as a weed in my gardens. An insignificant gesture, but for me it is a little prayer. I’ve loved these butterflies ever since I was a boy and my father told me about their migratory journey. In those days there were three kinds of butterflies that frequented our suburban yard—little white ones, little yellow ones, and the monarchs. They fluttered about in great numbers, and I never thought they could ever disappear.