At first, I thought it might be one of our long lost craft projects.
We painted rocks one year. I think.
But, this rock looked freshly painted. No worn patches. I found it at the base of our mailbox as we brought the dogs back up our long driveway from the morning walk. Because it was at the tail (ha!) end, I didn’t notice if others were left in the neighborhood. But, I chose to believe that this was a sweet little gift — much like the clipping off of a Christmas tree with a single ball ornament left our doorstep for three years in a row.
Today as we walked the dogs through the neighborhood, I saw them everywhere — proof of intentional kindness. All in the same place, at the base of the mailbox. Hearts. Saguaros. A happy sun. Abstract designs. One painted all-over solid yellow.
I picked up the rock next door and it had a message, “Enjoy the little things. Paint a rock and spread joy.” It appears to be signed — Zozo? Zoza? Or maybe that’s 2020? I dunno I hadn’t had any coffee yet and my eyes weren’t focusing.
The little painted rocks hug my heart. I can picture some mom or dad sitting around the table with their kids and painting up a storm and then all of them sprinting through the streets, leaving their humanitarian love notes behind.
At the grocery store yesterday, seeing the long longs and depleted shelves and the signs against hoarding and how much people avoided even making eye contact as if just looking at someone could infect them, it hit me that this could be the new normal and it made me so sad. But it’s the little things, these gentle gestures, the urge to give someone else a sliver of light in a time of great darkness, that mean we will not only come out of this, but we will be stronger. So no way will I take these rocks for granite.