Sarah Shares: Reaching out
While some people are experiencing having extra time during this stay at home time, I am not, and I know many of you are not either. Even so, this may be the only time since I was a child that I’ve been this present for the evolution of spring. In these challenging and isolating times, I’ve found new meaning in a project that I started last year.
I’ve always collected rocks on my travels. Last summer, I began featuring some of my favorites on either side of my front walk. I made some piles, put a jar of chalk out, and invited anyone who passed to rearrange and add to my piles and drawings. I watched the weather, to plan around rain storms, and planned invitations to inspire interaction from my neighbors. I think of it as interactive landscaping.
We have lots of young families in my neighborhood, and people started to take part! One mom let me know that she and her children plan their walk to include passing by and making new rock arrangements, drawing some pictures or writing a positive message with the chalk. Someone painted shells with glitter paint, and added them to the collection, like a present. Another person wrote in response to my message: “What can you build?” “JOY LOVE FUN”. I started noticing people taking selfies with their creations and positive messages.
This spring, this project has new meaning to me. My teenage children started adding bunches of wildflowers as they mowed the lawn. I’ve discovered that my five year old neighbor also loves to collect special rocks. After I invited her to build towers of the rocks and change it around whenever she’d like, she added a special handful of orange rocks and I gave her a striped stone that I love in return.
A few days ago, I found a pink painted heart shaped rock that someone had left perched on top of one of the rock towers. Today, a rock painted like a ladybug with googly eyes!
It’s a small project in the scope of all that is happening in the world, and it also feels like a way to reach out, to connect in a time when we are challenged to connect in new forms. Part of how I am managing through this period is finding ways to notice joy even in small things, to celebrate the creative ways we are solving problems together. I hope you are noticing new treasures and connections in your surroundings as well. More than anything, I look forward to reuniting as a community to share strategies and what we’ve learned in this time.