We had such a great time camping over Memorial Day weekend. It was my parents and two younger siblings, my older brother and his family, as well as his FIL. We went hiking to the top of Elmore Mountain (in Elmore, VT), kayaking, swimming in the lake, fishing, biking and more. Seriously, I think this was our most fun trip yet.
Sunday night I pulled out my acrylic paints and we got to painting rocks. It is so relaxing and the kids love it. I started painting some smaller rocks all sorts of fun colors, adding hearts and Hi! and so forth. I vaguely remembered reading a blog post somewhere about a chic who painted rocks and then left them in random places for people to find (I since searched and found it on one of my "happy places" blogs - Color Me Katie). And that is exactly what I decided to do. I took my lot of rocks and lined them up along the side of the road.
The rocks were spaced evenly all the way up this road... you can see one or two in the distance.
My 14 y/o sister decided to join me and we had quite the collection. My 6 y/o niece asked what we were doing so I took her on a walk. As we were walking to the start of the line I told her to imagine she was having a really bad day. Something happened that made her sad or she was angry. And then we walked up to the first "Hi" rock and I said, "now imagine you happen upon this happy little rock. What would that do to you?" She looks up at me with a little smile on her face and says, "makes me smile". And I said, "EXACTLY. Now you have a little smile and you walk a little further and you see this one. " She looks at me again and her smile had grown to a grin and she said "you get happier and happier!" She totally got it and decided to add her rocks to our collection. It was so sweet.
She ran to get her dad (my brother) and took his hand and was walking him through the rocks... I imagine she was giving him the same lesson I gave her.
As she is showing my brother all our creations, along comes a little old man shuffling up the road back to his campsite. He comes to the first rock and stops.... and then he keeps going until he passes my brother and niece and he stops again. He looks at them and asked if they had done this. My brother hesitantly said yes. The old man looks at my niece and said "I was taking a little walk because my day was here" and he holds his hand at chest level and continues, "but now my day is here" and moves his hand up above his head. He said "I just was having a bad day and this made me smile. I think you're really onto something here! Thank you so much" and off he went. My niece came running to me grinning ear to ear to relay what had just happened and it just made my heart swell. Something so little, so simple and we just made someones day.
After that exchange all the kids sat by the side of the road waiting for people to walk by, encouraging them to take the rocks that were "for sale! FREE!" And everyone walking by commented to them how happy the rocks made them. We woke up the next morning and almost ALL the rocks had been taken. Needless to say, I think we have started a new tradition and will continue to leave happy, love filled rocks in campgrounds across Vermont!
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