A mom and her son with autism hid fairy houses in the woods. Now others are joining them.
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.
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: