Wellesley’s newest residents have beautiful homes, but they don’t pay property taxes. They love natural, organic foods like milk, honey, and butter, but they don’t shop at Whole Foods. They insist on tidiness and order, but they don’t have a weekly cleaning crew. Fairies, who now live among us thanks to the efforts of Bates Elementary School 4th grader Violet Griffith, live life on their own terms, and don’t move into a place so much as deign it with their sparkly presence.
Believe it or not, we mere mortals can actually tour — and even add to — the neighborhood of these magical newcomers. Their special village is tucked away in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens, and was painstakingly created by Griffith, who apparently was well aware that the ethereal creatures are known to take up residence when a home has been created especially for them by a true believer in their magical ways. The key is to respect their desire to live in a fanciful structure built with natural materials, but know when to throw in a bit of sparkle and some judiciously placed shiny objects.
To find the Fairy Village, enter Wellesley College at the intersection of Central Street and Weston Road. As you walk along the paved path, you’ll pass both preschools on your left. Continue walking through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest until you see a white “Fairy Village” sign on the right side of the path, located along the edge of the woods. Follow the sign to a path through the woods, go through the sea of the swirly twirly gumdrops, and you’ll come across both Fairy areas. Keep going and you’ll end up in the Botanic Garden.
Please enjoy the Fairy Village with your eyes, and stay on the path. There is another area along the path that is intended for people to build their own creations with natural materials. Feel free to walk off the path here and create.