During the pandemic, some people quarantined indoors have awakened their inner artist by painting rocks. Some of these rocks depict flowers, geometric patterns, or short messages – and if you have no plans for them after you paint them, some folks place a painted rock anonymously in others' yards. They provide a bright spot of human contact to whomever is given one.
This is not as strange an idle occupation as it may sound. "Rock painting" is as old a tradition as are the 10,000-year-old Aboriginal inscriptions on Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Australia – which provided a means of communication designed to span the generations.
However, modern "rock paintings" are more whimsical, meant simply to provide cheer, and a message: "You are important – we're all in this together." We came across quite a few, by the sidewalks of Inner Southeast Portland.
Painting rocks is a great indoor activity for kids, too, especially on rainy days. Then, when it's sunny again, kids have the option of placing their "gift rocks" wherever they choose, imagining the pleasure that these small gifts will provide.
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