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.
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.
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.
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.
Word stones are often part of children’s gardens.
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.
Community shines from pebble angels set out in a Clitheroe churchyard, too.
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.
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?
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.