When I went to the Fairy Village in Milburn with the children in my life, it was a magical experience, as would be expected. The girls ran from fairy house to another, exclaiming about the wonder that they were privy to, and loving every minute of it. We hiked through the walk, stopping over and over to see the sweet houses and reminders of the magic within, and had a grand time, indeed. The faces of the children as they found more and more evidence of fairies made my heart grow three sizes that day indeed. It was a truly magical experience.
Then the vandals came.
Yes, dear readers, there has been a terrible series of events at New Jersey’s beloved Fairy Village, and it is up to us to not let these cave trolls win. Vandals have destroyed the fairy houses, leaving their destruction around the park, along with such filth in their graffiti that I don’t even want to tell you what it was. Let’s just say that it was racist garbage that has no place anywhere, much less in a place devoted to joy and magic.
The creator of the Fairy Village has been extremely diligent about repairing the damage, but hearts are heavy that the scrawled racist filth represents us as members of New Jersey and society in general. She, Therese Ojibway, is repairing the damage along with loving members of the community, refusing to let hate win. That’s truly the message of love that the Fairy Village represents, and Therese isn’t going to let these horrible trolls win.
This is a situation that goes far beyond the beloved Fairy Village. This is something that we, as New Jerseyans need to address. Scoffing at the damage and blaming bored teenagers is one thing, but working to prevent another situation like this is another. Why would this happen if not for these disgusting beliefs being present in our community? Essex County is proud of its diversity, and since that is the county that houses the Fairy Village, this kind of terrible (yet not mindless) destruction has no place. This kind of vile actions has no place in our community. It is up to us as citizens to teach our children why this is wrong, why this is unacceptable, and what to do if these terrible beliefs come into the space where our children reside.
There is no excuse, none for what the vandals have done. But Ojibway pushes her hurt and anger away when she told this to an interviewer:
“You don’t know the joy that it brings people to do these things for others, so maybe try it. Try getting involved in something. Try creating instead of destroying and see how it makes you feel. You might be surprised.”
May we all teach our children well.
quote and photos taken from The Livingston Patch