Nelson Rockz

Destiny Middleton (left) and Anita Taylor's daughter, Courtney Klingler work on painting rocks to hide one afternoon after school.
12 year old Courtney Klingle of Arrington paints on some rocks she will eventually hide as part of Nelson Rockz.

Nelson County, Virginia
By Jennie T. Williams

Seen any sad rocks lately?

Bunny Llessur picked up a rather contemplative one while she was here in Nelson after Irma hit her home in southwest Florida. Don’t worry, she took him home and let him free in Punta Gorda where he’s now living his best life on the Gulf coast. Unless he’s moved on by now.

Sad, contemplative, happy, or inspirational, colorful rocks are popping up all over the place these days. Leslie Hall started The Kindness Rocks Project in Cape Cod but quickly spread throughout the United States and then the world through Facebook.

Anita Taylor started the Nelson Rockz group this summer.

“It’s supposed to be to spread joy and to make somebody smile, to make someone’s day,” said Anita, who lives in Arrington.

According to the Facebook group, getting involved is as easy as four simple steps: “First, paint a rock! Make it pretty and maybe inspirational. Second, hide the rock! Third, look for rocks! [Fourth], if you find one, take a picture and post it to the page.”

Step 1 (find a rock) is causing some people worry, but Anita says it’s easier than we think.

“I know they’ve been posting [on Facebook] where to get the smooth rocks and [people] are saying Gilberts Stain and Stone or Lowe’s, but I’m like, I’m not buying a rock,” she said. “They have them at the craft store, also. But as many rocks as there is at the river, I’m not buying a rock.”

Then, when it comes to Step 2 (paint a rock), the point is not high art, said Anita, but to spread community and joy between neighbors near and far.

Destiny Middleton (left) and Anita Taylor’s daughter, Courtney Klingler work on painting rocks to hide one afternoon after school.

“Some people put Psalms or words of encouragement; some people might just put ‘Joy’ or ‘Love.’ Some people really take time and put really cool pictures. The little bitty kids, they just paint a few lines and they think they’re done.” Leslie Hall started the project as a way to inspire with words of encouragement, but the project has grown to much more than that.

Step 3 (look for rocks) is becoming easier as more and more rocks appear. Just look for brightly colored rocks – some hidden, some in plain sight – and you’re bound to come across one sooner or later.

Mae Tyree of Basic Necessities in Nellysford is hiding a rock her daughter recently painted.

And finally onto Step 4 (take a picture and post). Many rocks have instructions on the back of where they came from. Finders are encouraged to take a picture, post it to the rock’s group of origin, and re-hide it locally or on their travels. Some rocks, like Bunny’s are traveling the country.

Above in the gallery some of the different rocks painted to hide across the area.

To get involved, start hiding your own rocks, or find out more about the project, visit the Nelson County Va Rock Group.


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