I remember walking the trails last summer and seeing all kinds of painted rocks. Some were obviously done by kids and others were quite refined and artistic. All were uplifting in a time of isolation and confusion of the Covid crisis. This year my husband and I (as part of a greater project with the TS), painted some of our own. It was a fun project and I think as our little treasures disappear, we’ll be creating some more and placing them on nearby trails. Stories have emerged that communities all over the US have shared this painted rock craze. So where did it all start?
Several years ago, Megan Murphy, walked the beaches of Cape Cod looking for signs from her deceased parents. If she spied a heart-shaped rock, she felt connected to her father and a piece of sea glass became associated with her mother. Finding these items on her walks helped her cope with life. She noticed other people looking for things on their walks as well. So one day, she choose five rocks and wrote messages for others to find. She was astonished when a friend texted later in the day with a photo of one of the rocks saying she had found it and it was exactly what she needed. This moment of what I call synchronicity, launched the Kindness Rocks Project (https://bit.ly/35P3I83).
The movement took off and spread across communities. Most people have no idea how the rock painting got started. And like all good ideas, it has a power all its own. So simple, so utterly Aquarian! Individuals rely on personal creativity, put in service to humanity, done anonymously. Perfect. Grab your brush!
That time of year is here again. May and June are key months to celebrate this milestone event in the lives of young people. Whether it’s high school or college graduation, now’s the time to rejoice. To celebrate real world, material accomplishment. Next month, my husband and I will travel to Vancouver to celebrate and take great pride in our son’s graduation from Simon Fraser University. As an individual, he has grown under the weight of many challenges, learned more about who he is as a man, and he’s ready to launch himself into the real world (fingers crossed- I’m a parent).
And as it would happen, I just saw a segment on the Colbert Report about a new book by a professor at Syracuse University, George Saunders. In 2013, he was asked to give the commencement address. It turned out to be a popular video on YouTube because, I think, it’s a little unusual. That speech has been turned into a book called Congratulations- by the way. Saunders took a risk. A lot of commencement talks center around the accomplishments of the individual and challenge graduates to go out into the larger world to contribute their unique gifts. Essentially, they reinforce the ego. Saunders looks back on his life to realize what he regrets most are those times when he failed to be kind. He challenges graduates to begin now to overcome selfishness, the idea of separateness and permanence. To become kinder, now. It’s a simple and powerful message.