Mandolin, Orange rock: What kindness can do, if you let it

MOUNTAIN VIEW – It was an accidental sighting.

In Mountain View for the weekend, and by the Courthouse square there on a breezy Saturday night to listen to some bluegrass music, the light reflected just right and the orange hue caught my eye.

At first, I thought it was part of the courthouse’s decorative filigrees but it looked like eyes were staring back at me, so I reached down to see what it was and it was an AR Rocks

Like the Great Pumpkin of Charlie Brown fame was a flat, pumpkin shaped rock, seen below, that had been painted orange and to look like a Halloween decoration. On the back is inscribed, “FB AR Rocks” and “Hardy, Ar. 10-21”

Since Oct. 21 hasn’t happened, one can surmise the “10-21” is, perhaps, a reference to the October of 2021, maybe.

After looking at it, and wondering, does one leave the rock behind for the next person to find, or does one take the rock and move it to another location, for someone else to discover?

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Writerly curiosity also kicked in, what is AR Rocks? How does all this work? How does one get involved?

It turns out that Sarah Whitehead, founded the Facebook group in 2016 and has been going strong for the last five years.

In a Facebook post, Whitehead wrote that the group’s “goal is to spread love and inspiration through rock art by painting rocks and placing them throughout our communities and surrounding areas.”

She also explained what to do if you spot an AR Rocks in the wild:

“If you found a rock, you may keep it, put it back where you found it or find a new place to hide it. Whether you decide to keep it or not, please join us and paint your own rocks to hide!”

Whitehead and the group also encourage people to get in on the action by painting their own rocks and putting them out and about.

Some supplies, like rocks, obviously, are needed, but also acrylic paint, paintbrushes, sealer and Sharpie-brand markers.

After decorating one side of the rock, flip and write “AR Rocks” with either Facebook or its logo, so when people, like me who don’t know what’s going on, find the rock, they can do some sleuthing and figure it out.

Whitehead also noted in the post that when you have rocks ready, only put them in safe areas, don’t use profanity or be hateful with the paint jobs along with a reminder for those who go to the trouble.

“Know that by taking a little time out of your day to paint these rocks, and put them out for others, you have the potential to make someone else smile, to brighten their day, and get them involved in their community,” Whitehead wrote.

So, with that, this pumpkin rock, which started in Hardy, then made its way to Mountain View, will now find a home in Maumelle, and then, if you find it, take it elsewhere and keep it going.