The Painted Rock Beside the Trail: Spreading Kindness

painted rocks again

Painted rocks (Photo by AnnRos at pixabay)

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I found a painted rock on the ground during my walk. Someone had placed the rock beside a trail near the base of a tree. The rock is shown below.  I appreciated the sight of the beautiful colours as I walked to the store with social distancing precautions in my mind. For a while, I forgot about the pandemic and instead thought about the cheerful rock and the kindness of the unknown painter.

Distributing painted rocks is becoming popular. Some people include an inspirational message as well as a painting. People are “supposed” to pick up the rock and then secretly place it somewhere else where another person is likely to find it. There are reports that some rocks travel far and wide. Some painters report seeing their creations in photos from a different country. That’s unlikely to happen in the current situation. It seems to me that the activity and the act of kindness involved are especially important in promoting positivity at this time, though.

Painted Rock

A painted rock that I found beside a walking trail

Artistic skills are not important when painting a kindness rock, as I like to call it. The desire to spread cheer, comfort, or encouragement to a stranger is. A trail bordered by painted rocks would be a lovely sight and could be comforting for many people.

Some people create elaborate rock paintings as works of art, but this is not the main goal of the kindness rock phenomenon. People are free to create a detailed painting if they want to do this, of course, but no artistic talent is required to create a rock of kindness. Vibrant colours would likely be appreciated by the discoverer, however.

Rock sculpture

Rock art (Photo by Fuzz at pixabay)

I found the rock on the right side of the trail below, though the photo was taken earlier in the season and in a previous year. I enjoy walking along the path in any season and looking at the plants that grow beside it and the animals that either live there or visit. I love observing nature, even in the patches that sometimes occur in a city. The discovery of a painted rock beside the trail was a lovely surprise.


A section of the trail on the day after snow fell

I left the rock for someone else to enjoy and transfer. Simply looking at the rock and photographing it was enough to improve my mood. Any act of kindness is valuable at this time. Practical acts are important for helping people, but so are ones that improve mental well-being. Painters share something of themselves when they distribute their rocks anonymously. I appreciate their generosity.

I have some tubes of acrylic paint that I haven’t used for some time. They are quite old. I hope they are still in good condition. A trip to an art store is not on my agenda at this time when social distancing and other precautions are important. I’d like to paint a rock myself and send it on its journey. If I succeed, I hope the trip is long and helpful for many people.