A mom and her son with autism hid fairy houses in the woods. Now others are joining them.
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Do you believe in magic?

I'm not asking if you think it's real nor am I quoting from that delightful oldies song by The Lovin' Spoonful.

What I mean is this: Do you think there's power in the things we create with our minds?


Consider Therese Ojibway, a special education teacher who, as a child, was enthralled with fairies.

Image via Upworthy/YouTube.

As a kid, Ojibway built little homes and furnishings for fairies using wood and other recyclable craft supplies. Then she hid them in the forest where, she believed, the fairies would make use of them at night. "I started looking at the hollows of the trees and thought, 'If I were a fairy I would live there,'" she told The New York Times.

Ojibway's son, Clinton, has autism. And when he was 3 years old, she began taking him out into the forest, too.

She hoped he could escape from the stress and structure of his therapy regime.

"He was following instructions a lot all day, and I wanted to have him go to a place where he could be telling me where to go, where I could follow his lead," she explained.

That kind of freedom can be incredibly therapeutic, almost transformative. In the case of Clinton, you might say it was almost ... magical.

Two decades later, Clinton is an adult, and he still visits the woods with his mother.

Together, they've created a fairy trail in the forest.

On the trail, others can explore for themselves and create their own moments of change and tranquility. Some have even followed in Ojibway's fantastical footsteps and contributed their own magic to the trail.

So I'll ask you again: Do you believe in magic? You can decide the answer yourself by exploring the South Mountain Fairy Trail below:

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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