This is a guest post from my sister, Sheryl. She’s been an artist her entire life and has painted on all kinds of media throughout the years. These days her media of choice is rocks, transforming a simple river rock into a piece of art. Sheryl is also a firm believer of random acts of kindness and is known in our community for her kindness and charity. Recently she began a new project: Sending painted rocks all over the world to remind people to be kind to one another. In this post Sheryl tells her story.
Each Bee Kind rock has a tag that says, “If you receive a Bee Kind Rock do an act of kindness. It can be as small as smiling at someone who needs it to as big as…well, let your spirit tell you what to do. Then pass your rock to someone else or leave it for someone to find. Let us know on Facebook at BEE KIND ROCKS where you are and the number of your rock. Pictures are appreciated. ”
Hi, my name is Sheryl and I am an artist. My favorite thing to paint on at this time are rocks. I am not alone in this craft. There are many rock painters around the world. It goes back in time to, well, to the beginning. You can still see the paintings in caves and on rocks of our distant ancestors. I continue the tradition of rock painting but not in primitive style. I like bright and happy colors. I have been a part of Random Acts of Kindness and Art Abandonment (found on FB) for several years. I enjoy doing little things that touch people. With my painting of rocks this theme carries through. The first year I painted small rocks…….
…and I placed them where people would find them….in a grocery cart seat, on a restaurant table, on a bench outside of a hospital door. Sometimes I would hand a stranger a painted rock. It surprised me how much it meant to them. Lots of them would hold the rock to their heart and say, ” You don’t know how much I needed this today”. There have been hugs, tears and kindness returned to me.
This year, 2016, I decided I wanted to send my little painted rocks around the United States. At first I was going to paint different designs on each rock and add a note of “2016 Be Kind, pass it on”. Then as I looked through my painting design books for ideas I came across one of my favorite books, BumbleBees and Daisy Chains. I knew Annie Lang’s happy bees would be perfect to spread smiles and kindness. It was meant to bee. And so, it became BEE KIND ROCKS. I then wanted to send Bee Kind rocks not only to the states but around the world.
January 1, 2016 I put out my first Bee Kind Rock in my hometown in Central Illinois. I also contacted Facebook friends in different cities, states and countries to ask them if I could send them a rock to start its kindness journey. Everyone has been happy to do so. At this time, February 6, I have a Bee Kind rock in 15 states, Japan and Malaysia. How exciting!
I am blessed to have a brother and lovely sister-in-law who are retired and they love to travel around the world. They offered to take Bee Kind Rocks with them. As they drove from Illinois to California they had 10 rocks to pass along. I am sure they have found, just as I have, that you look for just the right person or place for the rock. Then a feeling hits you and you know it’s time to give it away. Marvin and Mona have posted on my Facebook page, Bee Kind Rocks, the place and pictures of each of the people that received them. They gave rocks to an artist who paints on rocks too, to a girl from Germany traveling Route 66, to a couple from Canada (I am excited to place that on my map) and others along the way.
Look at all those happy faces already thinking of who they will pass the Bee Kind rock on to next. Marvin and Mona have more wonderful trips to different countries planned for this year and more small rocks will travel with them to be left to spread kindness.
My cousins, Randy and Mary Ann, are going on a cruise and they are leaving a rock at each island. They stopped at a restaurant and their waitress, Kenisha, was so nice. Mary Ann gave her a Bee Kind rock and the young lady was so thrilled. The waitress did a kind act right then and gave Mary Ann a piece of pie!
Kenisha knew who she was going to pass the rock on to, even though she wanted to keep it herself. She knew someone who needed something to make them smile again. So Mary Ann then gave her a special little bee rock for her to keep.
Another friend, Debra, took hers to Oregon. She let her spirit tell her when it was time to pass her rock along. As Debra and a friend had lunch a birthday party was going on. Debra knew the birthday lady was supposed to have this rock. The lady loved it… turns out she works at a rock shop! Christine sent hers to a pen pal in Japan. That one, #3, was the first to travel across the ocean.
I think my goal is to paint 100 Bee Kind rocks. I have 1/3 of them painted and sent out now. I will post updates on Facebook: Bee Kind Rocks as people let me know where they left the rock or when others tell me how they got the rock. It all depends on the kindness of others to pass these rocks along for the story of their journey to continue. It is so fun, exciting, magical….to send these rocks out to the world. I can’t wait to see where they travel to. But, even if they go no farther than to the hands of one person, then that is one who has been touched by kindness and I hope a smile has crossed their face.
One small act of kindness can make a big difference. Be Kind to One Another!
To see more follow me on Facebook: Bee Kind Rocks
Here’s another Facebook page of Sheryl’s art: Happy Heart Creations by Sheryl