by Corinne Dosoruth
The idea was simple: spread kindness with painted rocks. And, apparently, it started with Margaret Mead in the United States. She would paint a pebble, then drop it in a park, at a beach, in a forest, simply for someone else to find and feel loved.
She started with messages that empower, lift and bring people joy. The messages were meant to change your day, your outlook on life, and can also be described as a random act of kindness.
I came upon Parramatta Rocks while researching ideas to paint rocks for Halloween. Initially my idea was to give the kids a painted rock with the lollies with a Halloween theme. I then decided to have a Halloween party at my place where I invited my son’s friends from school, bought my supplies and got them to paint their rocks.
The feeling of happiness, joy and peace we all experienced whilst painting was incredible. So, I started following Parramatta Rocks on Facebook, hoping that one day we would be able to make our way to one of the parks where they dropped rocks, so we could look for some and drop ours. But most of the rock drops were around Parramatta, not around the Ryde area, where we are.
I also realised that I felt greater joy painting rocks for someone to find than actually looking for rocks. And that’s when I decided to start Ryde Rocks – so that I can keep painting and encourage parents to get their kids out of the house, away from screens and rock hunting, spreading joy and kindness to the Ryde neighbourhood.
And that’s how Ryde Rocks came to be. Over three weeks, my husband and I painted 10 rocks every night, once our son had gone to bed. I cannot describe the excitement I felt, knowing that we were painting this for kids around Ryde.
Very soon we ran our first rock drop in Waterloo Park, and now we can’t stop. It all still feels new and we are learning as we go. We have learnt for example that rocks should not be hidden in places where no-one can spot them; they should be visible to everybody. In fact, it does not matter if someone is not part of Ryde Rocks; what matters is how they feel when they spot one of the rocks.
Ideally, we would like everybody to relocate the rocks or paint some of their own to get Ryde Rocks moving, but we are also happy to keep painting and dropping rocks everywhere around Ryde to bring some kindness into people’s lives. So far, we have a list of parks listed on the Ryde Council website and we are slowly driving around to fill these parks with kindness and joy for our community.
We hope that everyone gets on board with us and we would like to specify that your painted rock does not have to be spectacular and you do not have to be an amazing artist – just paint with your heart.
What you need to get started
- A bag of pebbles (black or white). We get ours from the garden section at Bunnings.
- Posca pen or Sharpie from Big W or Kmart.
- Sealant – $8 at Bunnings.
- Spirit – and why not get the family involved. It’s more fun.
Visit Ryde Rocks on Facebook where you’ll find a pinned post with instructions. You can also contact us via the link and we’d be happy to answer your questions.