Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thoughtful Tuesday: Musings on Rocks

Wait, you thought this was a blog about quilting? Well, mainly so, but from time to time I muse on other topics. However, this is the first musing I've done on rocks. Rocks is a noun and a verb. This feels like school!

Rocks as a verb indicates that something is fantastic. The Island Batik blog hop that started this week and runs through September 29 rocks! There are, as usual, lots of giveaways, so be sure to visit the bloggers as well as Island Batik. The schedule for this week is at the end of this post.

Something can rock one's world, like this pandemic. 

And then there are rocks, the noun.
I've shown you these, and many others on Instagram, before. They've given me joy over the past several months of walking in my neighbourhood. They given me pause as well.
I was intrigued how they moved around. Until the fish was placed on our front lawn, and I picked it up, turned it over and read the reverse, I had had no idea of the intent of them other than giving pleasure and beauty by one talented and kind person. Well! This was interesting. 

I'd been secretly sad that I hadn't had one of these rocks placed on our lawn. One day we did get two child-painted ones but they were very primitive and had no picture, just a polka-dot or mish-mash of colours on them. However, I was happy that we'd at least got some painted rocks! And then we got the goldfish one! I was so excited. Whoever had been doing this wondrous thing, had finally bestowed a beauty upon us.

And then within two days it disappeared. My excitement plunged into disappointment. At least at that point I knew that they were supposed to disappear and reappear. Yet one hadn't reappeared in its place.
This is one of my favourites

Now, these rocks are not ours. We don't own them. We are supposed to share them. Good grief, think of the level of sharing that the painter is giving! So why  did I have trouble with my the fish rock swimming away? Once I discovered its whereabouts, the disappointment lessened; at least it hadn't completely disappeared, as did the beautiful M&Ms one in the collage above.

This person had two. The beautiful sunflowers one has 'lived' there for quite some time. The "Sun's Out" one joined it a few days ago.
And now they've both disappeared. I haven't seen where the "Sun's Out" one has gone, but the sunflowers one moved across the road. No rocks in their place. And I know from chatting with her, that the homeowner feels that bit of sadness and disappointment. I also know, well pretty sure I do, who moved them. A darling little girl, barefoot, skipping along with her dad, last weekend was finding and re-hiding several along their walk.

The painter, who lives two doors down from me, has taken to changing up her message a bit on the back:

Why do some people steal them even though it is clear they do not belong to any one person? Why do some people have three, four, or five on their properties and are rather possessive of them? Wasn't I a tad possessive of those fish? Why hadn't the house on the one side of us ever got any rocks? They have a little 2-year-old and now a brand new baby; the little 2-year-old would be over the moon to spy one on his lawn. His mum expressed her disappointment that they hadn't had any, which made me realize hmm, these feelings are normal, human.

Well, on my next walk, didn't that fish rock swim back, but not to my house but to JP's...😉 I got to see him find it and it was the best. You know what though? He didn't keep it; he and his family 'hid' it somewhere else. It has moved several times since. 
I myself moved this from one house to another one day. I've never seen it again. 😔

Giving. Generosity. Sharing. These are all highly-esteemed qualities. To see that in action these past many months has been incredibly uplifting to the spirit.

To see the flip side has been rather demoralizing: those who 'hoard' the rocks, those who steal them and they're never seen again.

Yet what the painter of these rocks told me she tells Isaiah, her little boy, who helps plant the new ones she paints around our little loop, "I tell him you never know. Maybe that person needed some extra happiness inside their home," has sure helped. How to put a positive spin on a not-so-nice action. So I try to remember that. 

Human beings are a curious lot. If only we could be more like the painter of these rocks, that generous. Giving, without an agenda, always always gives back. I think there's a letting go message in this as well. And there's definitely a 'let your light shine' message here too. When we do these kind of small things, we lift up countless others, don't we, and we never know how far the ripples of spreading this kind of joy and happiness travel.

Now the rocks above are all more like stones I'd say, wouldn't you? How about some real rocks?

MacGyver dug these out of our front lawn two days ago. They had settled pretty much out of sight. Perhaps they were a kind of border or low wall many years ago. We know the house was built in 1947 so they very well could have been placed there way back then. Once he got them out, he took the power washer to them. 

And wow!
Those mauve and white depressions? Fossilized shells.

All of Essex county was under water many many years ago. These were quarried around here.
Amazing rocks, created by Mother Nature herself. It all kind of is tied together in the learning I've been doing. I read The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King, and I'm auditing Native Studies, a course at the University of Alberta. Indigenous peoples did not believe they owned the land. The land provided for them, and because of that they respect it and have much gratitude and care for it. So very different from the White possessive, make money from it, point of view. Do you see the parallels here in the painted rocks? In the Mother Nature rocks we are going to borrow for the time we live upon this chunk of land? Land that a paper says we own, but in reality, we do not. It is unceded territory of Anishinabewaki and Attiwonderonk peoples. I am grateful that I can live here, and I am doing my best to lessen my footprint upon the hurting earth.

I finished off my bodywash several months ago. No I am not going without showers! I've been using a bar of soap from India that Preeti kindly gave to me last year, but with a plastic poof. I finally got a jute wash pad that is filled with Goddess soap from Saje Natural Wellness. No affiliation, just a great company. I also bought a lavender bar of soap from them, so I should be set for many more months, and I am super-happy that I am done with buying plastic poofs as well as plastic containers of bodywash. I may purchase a glass bottle and take it to our local Green Heart Kitchen to fill with bodywash once the jute washpad/soap is done. I may be purchasing some jute and making my next washpad...

As promised here is the schedule for the blog hop this week.

September 8:

September 9:

September 10:

September 11:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway


  1. Your neighborhood rocks! Your neighborhood rocks are so fun to read about, too! 😍 I have loved finding painted rocks around our neighborhood this summer as well. Sometimes they stay for awhile, sometimes they move on, but they are always a fun surprise! I'm also enjoying the blog hop!

  2. The rocks are awesome and the similarities in the story are serendipitous to say the least.

  3. Those rocks are awesome! There are none in my neighborhood at least I've never seen any when out walking.

  4. Thank you for eloquently paralleling your neighborhood rock surprises to life - I especially like the idea that the person who keeps a rock actually needed it at that time in their life. If we truly could be more like the generous artist in your neighborhood just think of how it could change the world. Positive thinking rocks!

  5. I am glad that you at least got pictures of the rocks since they are supposed to disappear! I have seen that done elsewhere, but not in my neighborhood! If I had painted one, it probably would have looked like the primitive ones you got! I am looking forward to seeing what you do with those BIG rocks!

  6. Maybe you should consider a neighborhood rocks quilt, to remember or commemorate those cute little rocks? Just a squirrel/thought . . .

  7. Hi Sandra! We found a sweet rock on our front porch one day. I can't remember exactly what it said but it was something uplifting. We didn't know we were supposed to move it, but it found its way to another house. It is a really fun idea and very telling about the people that give and receive them. Very interesting about the plastic poof - I never thought of that! I used to use a natural loofah - maybe it's time to return to that. Gosh, there is so many plastics in our lives but any small movement or shift has to help, right?! {{Hugs}} Thanks for sharing your neighborhood rocks with us. ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Those painted rocks always make me smile when I see them. I miss them when they are re"moved" and usually have the same grumbling thoughts about the people who think they have to possess them instead of share them. Truth be told, I don't go looking in places outside my walking path where they might have been moved. I just assume that they are now possessed by others. However, some have provided great inspiration for postcards or mini quilts. I am grateful to the talented painter who placed so many along the path for others to enjoy. They bring light to a sometimes gloomy time.

  9. What a lovely post and a wonderful neighborlady who paints the rocks with such warm generosity.

  10. Hi Sandra. Your neighborhood rocks! What a lovely place to live! How sweet that TJ was able to find a rock 😉. Isn’t it sad that WE look on land so differently than our indigenous people do? Great job on getting rid of plastics! I’ve been making My own soap and Some cream for years and enjoy the process! When my DD was here visiting we made a batch of lip balm for one of her customers. It was a wonderful mom/daughter afternoon. She has a deal where the customers return the glass containers to her, they are sterilized and recycled. The customers then gets a free jar of lip balm for every 5 containers they return. So proud to see the innovative ways some people are trying to help our planet 😉

  11. I've loved seeing the painted rocks on IG. The painter sure has talent! The fossilized shells in your rocks are amazing, too. What a great find :) Switching away from plastics is a long process, isn't it? I, too, switched to bar soap from bodywash and a plastic poof a few months ago. The soap still comes wrapped in plastic, but it's a much smaller amount of plastic, so it's a start.