Take a walk in the woods, or along a stretch of beach, and look around you. You might be surprised to find a rock, not in its usual spot on the ground, but maybe in the crook of a tree branch, or propped up on an old log. This rock might have a painting of a bird or a heartwarming message that makes your day a little brighter. These rocks are a little ray of sunshine, thanks to the efforts of the South County Rocks project.
Kindness Rocks was started by a woman from Cape Cod who, after the loss of her parents, interpreted rocks as messages sent from the afterlife. She began painting these rocks and leaving them on the beach she walked each day, hoping others would find them and feel the same inspiration. This idea took off and spread all over the US. Wendy Maglio and her mother, Edna Sager, started the South County chapter of Kindness Rocks last April. While on vacation in Florida, Sager came across rocks with pictures and messages painted on them, as well as a link encouraging people to share the story of how they found them. “We looked for chapters in Rhode Island and found nothing,” says Maglio. “We decided, why not try it ourselves?”
Since then SCR has exploded to 1400 members, and has inspired other parts of Rhode Island to start their own chapters. So far, the SCR has hidden rocks in many unique places from woodsy areas like Wilcox Park in Westerly and Potters Woods in South Kingstown, to outside local businesses like the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter and the North Kingstown Library. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these artfully created rocks, make sure to pass the sentiment along, by hiding your own inspirational and colorful rock somewhere for others to find.