Caught in the Act
Aha! We finally catch the rock bandit in the act! My wife Susan and I are on a brisk walk in the neighborhood. It is a beautiful evening. The air is cool and still. As we round a turn in an otherwise empty park, we see a girl. She’s probably about ten years old with brown shoulder-length hair. As she sees us approach, she quickly walks away from a park bench where it appears she has just deposited some secret object.
With curiosity we quicken our pace a bit. So does she. As we approach the rock bandit does not make eye contact. Before you know it, she reaches the sidewalk, and quickly mounts her kid-sized pink electric scooter with a flowery blue basket on the handlebars. Immediately zipping away, the high-pitched electric motor sound softly fades as I watch her leave the park and speed down the sidewalk of the adjacent street. It was a clean getaway!
By then we were standing at the park bench … looking at what she had left behind. We finally knew who was doing it … and even though we still didn’t know exactly why she did it, we knew how seeing it again made us feel.
You see, a few weeks earlier, the Coronavirus stay-at-home order had just gone into effect. Days at home are starting to feel long. I want to go somewhere. I want to see my friends and clients in person!
And in addition to the ‘cabin fever’, there are nagging questions … How long will this last? Will people I know get this? Are clean hands and social distancing at the grocery store enough? Will I get this? What will happen to the economy?”
Noticing Something Strange
Under this developing cloud of uncertainty, I set out one afternoon for a walk to clear my head. It’s good to be out, but the questions still persist.
Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I notice something strange. Something different and colorful. As I slow down to see what this is, I start to figure it out. This is a rock … the smooth rounded kind. But it has been painted with bright colors and seems to be strategically placed near the sidewalk to be discovered.
As my walk continues, I notice another painted rock near a tree. A few minutes later, another one near a fork in the path. In the days that follow, I watch for and discover a growing number of painted rocks along the path! Some are painted with flowers. One is painted to look like an eggplant – purple along its oblong shape with a green leafy tip.
Beautiful Little Discoveries
And somehow, on my walks each day, as I watch for new painted rocks, I notice the cloud of uncertainty getting a little lighter. I am looking forward to finding the next painted rock. Every new colorful rock seems to bring a color and brightness that lifts my heart. I am experiencing the serendipity of beautiful little discoveries. I am experiencing the hope of finding a new painted rock somewhere along my path every day.
The Girl on the Pink Scooter
I had wondered “Who is doing this?” That evening in the park, seeing the rock bandit with the pink electric scooter satisfied the question I’d had on my walks for weeks! And seeing the rock she left behind that day on the park bench (it’s the one pictured in the lower right corner) I still didn’t know exactly why she did it, but I knew how it made me feel.
Thoughts and Feelings…
And just then, I had another realization.
Over the past few weeks, my thoughts of wonder about the who, why and how of these beautiful little rocks had turned into feelings. Feelings of mystery, anticipation, and hope for another colorful discovery.
A few weeks of these feelings had turned into a mood. The grim cloud of uncertainty and boredom had transformed to excitement and anticipation of bright serendipitous discoveries in the future!
Moods Becoming Habits
I think my mood was even starting to become a habit. I was getting in the habit of noticing bright, colorful moments that helped me leave behind the pandemic’s grim cloud of boredom and uncertainty.
That evening, in my ritual of journaling of the days’ “‘three wins” (or the best things that happened that day), the rock bandit with the pink electric scooter and her painted rock installations was at the top of my list!
Beautiful Little Things Along the Way
I don’t know what the rock bandit got out of her rock painting and sharing activities over these past few weeks. But I do know for certain how much her rock painting project has moved me. My experience of living through a global pandemic has somehow been transformed from a path of gloominess and boredom to a completely different path. A path where I notice and am pleasantly surprised by all the colorful, beautiful little things along the way. A bright path pulling me into the future with joyful anticipation of good things to come.
What will you notice along your path today?
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Professional EOS Implementer