Paint a lit­tle kind­ness!

Paint stones with up­lift­ing mes­sages to spread joy and in­spire others.

Country Woman - - FRONT PAGE - BY KALLEE KRONG-McCREERY

Our ex­tended fam­ily was plan­ning a trip back home to the lit­tle coun­try church ceme­ter­ies in Ne­braska where our an­ces­tors are. I wanted to be able to leave some kind of me­mento on the graves of my grand­par­ents, great­grand­par­ents, un­cles and aunts, and I thought a small painted rock would be just the thing. I had great fun mak­ing de­signs that re­minded me of some­thing unique to each an­ces­tor: hearts, an­gels,

flags, la­dy­bugs, frogs, fam­ily trees and such. I some­times added a lit­tle mes­sage of love and re­mem­brance. I must ad­mit, though, that I did not count on the weight of all of those rocks in my suit­case. And I did not an­tic­i­pate the re­ac­tion of the TSA agents when they ran my bag full of rocks through the air­port se­cu­rity scan­ner. We had a good laugh over it.

I had so much fun with this easy and quick craft. I am not overly artis­tic, and my de­signs are rus­tic to be sure, but I think that is part of the charm.

These painted rocks are part of a bur­geon­ing move­ment called the Kind­ness Rocks Project. It all be­gan with an idea in 2015, as the group’s founder, Me­gan Mur­phy, walked the Sandy Neck Beach in Barn­sta­ble, Mas­sachusetts, col­lect­ing rocks. Now hundreds of groups around the world are in­volved, painting rocks with in­spi­ra­tional mes­sages and hid­ing them in pub­lic spa­ces for others to find. The group’s goal is sim­ple: In­spire others to spread kind­ness in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Me­gan char­ac­ter­izes it as the art of con­nect­ing, “be­cause one mes­sage at just the right mo­ment can change some­one’s en­tire day, out­look, life.”

I’ve since con­tin­ued my own rocks project. Re­cently I hosted an ap­pre­ci­a­tion party for some friends who helped me through­out the year. I wanted to give them lit­tle thank-you gifts. I knew many of them liked to gar­den or at least had a pot­ted plant. So this time I painted whim­si­cal gar­den an­gels on the rocks. I hope my friends will set them in the soil to pro­tect their veg­gies and posies. I think it will bring smiles to their faces, and to those of any­one else who passes by.

` I had great fun mak­ing de­signs that re­minded me of some­thing unique to each an­ces­tor.❞ —KALLEE KRONG-McCREERY ESCONDIDO, CAL­I­FOR­NIA

Me­gan Mur­phy, founder of the Kind­ness Rocks Project, sits in the In­spi­ra­tion Gar­den on Cape Cod’s Sandy Neck Beach, where the project be­gan.

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