Pebbles Along The Path

Pebble decorated with a flower and Be Kind

Walking on your own is an acquired skill for many of us. I can’t claim to enjoy walking for exercise, though I do it. I’m more motivated by the things I might see. A kestrel is way up on my hoped-for list. Right now, in our damp climate, it’s fun to look for miniature forests of mushrooms that spring up seemingly out of nothing and have vanished without trace next time you pass.

Joy pebble

The habit of looking helps me notice small, human interventions. While I can’t claim to go out hoping to find a painted pebble, each kindly placed treasure helps my spirit rise.

Two hearts painted on a stone

Having seen out millions of years, stones seem willing to bear timeless human messages knowing, perhaps, that time will flake them off.

Many designs give more than a nod to community. During lockdown, rainbows were set out to signal support for the work done in our sorely-tested, barely-holding but beloved National Health Service.

Pebbles painted for poppy day

Stone poppies in token of remembrance were set out by Hoddlesden’s cenotaph. Red Flanders poppies germinated so readily on disturbed soil that they came to be associated with sacrifice and peace.

Peace pebble with blue hearts

Word stones are often part of children’s gardens.

Pebbles painted as ladybirds with smiling faces

A worry doll village appeared in local woods during the pandemic as a place where children could play creatively in the open air and retain some feeling of community. I loved the doll’s house with the ladder or path depending how you look at it.

Pebbles painted as angels

Community shines from pebble angels set out in a Clitheroe churchyard, too.

Man pebble left in a hole in a tree

But it’s the quirky, solitary ones I enjoy finding the most, such as this face wedged into a hole in a tree along a reservoir walk. I had thought he had rouged cheeks, but looking again, they’re ears.

The Beatles Yellow submarine pebble

I never take any of the ones I see so the next person can share the joy, but I do regret leaving the yellow submarine. I don’t suppose Ringo could have left it?

Cheerful gnome with bee and bee-hive on a pebble

Finally, a sweetie with a flower, heart cap, honey bees and a hive: a summer Santa, were there such a thing, and almost guaranteed to raise a smile.

If you are leaving decorated pebbles in gardens or along the wayside, thanks for taking the time to leave a piece of your heart for us to find. It’s appreciated.

Shared for WalkingSquares.

55 Replies to “Pebbles Along The Path”

  1. A friend of mine paints stones to leave around. We have gone on 2 trips to the north shores of the Great Lakes to find smooth white stones for her to paint. Then we did one trip to leave some behind. I don’t know…that part seems hard. It was hard for me to leave HER stones behind…even knowing people would be happy when they discovered them. It felt like leaving puppies out in the weather as I walked away from each of them.

    1. I’ve never seen a knitted mailbox topper in town, and we are comparatively short of scarecrows, but we do well for pebbles. We’ll know we’ve been levelled up when we start to get the toppers/scarecrows.

  2. That last one made me laugh out loud. I think his hand is supposed to be holding the flower or sparkler or whatever it is, but I prefer seeing it as a thumbs-up sign. It’s hilarious, but serious too. I would hate running into that Yellow Submarine rock because then I’d have the song stuck in my head — just like now. Thanks for taking us with you; it’s therapeutic to see the signs of community. We ARE in this life together even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

    1. He’s very special. The song is catchy – sorry about that. I won’t name it in the hope not to start it off again. In fact I’ll mention the chicken dance instead. That’ll drive the other from your head.

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