Sunday, February 4, 2018

This Morning, Before the Storm

I go down to the edge of the sea.

How everything shines in the morning light! 

The cusp of the whelk, 

the broken cupboard of the clam, 

the opened, blue mussels, 

moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred— 
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split, 

dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks 

and all the moisture gone. 

It's like a schoolhouse 
of little words, 
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself, 
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop 
       full of moonlight. 

Then you begin, 


To read the whole story.

-- Breakage by Mary Oliver

Last fall I discovered a small rock that had been painted by an elementary school child and placed for someone to find.  I liked the idea so much I decided to paint some myself and put one out once in awhile on our beach and see what happened.

The ones I have placed so far are gone the next day so I assume that someone enjoyed finding a little something to take home, a reminder of a beautiful day spent at the beach.

This morning I was out walking to collect more rocks to paint.  I like thinking of the finders and I like painting so I think I will continue this little project.


  1. I like your little pebbles. If any wash up on the shores of England I'll be sure to let you know!

  2. What a fabulous idea. Are you close to the beach?

    1. 20 minutes away from a beautiful beach. So blessed!

  3. It's a great idea and a way to connect with people you will probably never meet - kind of like the letter in a bottle thing. I hope that someone else picks up on this idea and leaves one for you, or that an intelligent crow takes one as a gift for a human who has been kind to it.

  4. Do you put any contact information on the rocks. It would be interesting to find out who picked them up.

    1. I haven't so far. It would be fun to know where they go or if I inspire anyone else to do the same, but I'm not sure I want to put my email address out there.

    2. Good God NO! You could get a real bastard contacting you. Too scary to think about.
      You would love our Aussie beaches for the 4 young blokes to swim at.

  5. Lovely words and pictures. A very interesting idea with those pebbles. I would be so curious about their final destination.

  6. Great idea painting the rocks and an unknown person finding and taking them home - wonder what they do with them, put in their room I expect and wonder who painted them.
    I love your scene photos, especially the last one.

  7. I really love the idea, I may do that myself. Its certainly a project for the Grandchildren when they visit.

    1. My grandboys are coming to the beach this summer and I'm going to have some ready for them to paint and "hide", too. I know they will love it!

  8. What a nice project, have never heard about that.

  9. Love your painted shells/rocks. Around here in landlocked Kansas people do painted rocks and put them out to be found/replaced by ones the finders have made. There is supposedly a website you can record rocks you have put out and finders can note when they are found. Some people just place the found rocks in other places to be found again.

  10. Dear Cynthia, I think this is a fine and dandy project! It brings surprise and delight and joy into the lives of someone(s) on the beach. You know this would make a great beginning for a novel! Peace.

  11. We do that here and I need to paint a few myself. I love finding them. I think it must be so nice to live near or around the beach. I want to but it would be a little over an hour to visit the children one way and right now I see them just about every day or every other day. I just would love to wake up and go out to walk in the sand and feel the breeze coming off of the water. Nice post you have today, I enjoyed the pictures of the water and painted rocks.
    My grands Genevieve and Adalyn love adventure and I hope that I can keep up with them a long while to come.

  12. What a wonderful thing to do! I can imagine the delight of a child as they find one...and take off with their treasure! :)

  13. Wonderful excerpt and photos. I love you painting rocks to be found idea. How neat...:)

  14. Beautiful beach and ocean photography and also love the painted rocks ~ (used to do that too ~ have to get back to it)

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  15. Lovely words and pictures. A very interesting idea with those pebbles. I would be so curious about their final destination.


  16. What a great, great project I am sure they bring a big smile to everyone who finds them! Of course my favourite is the smile bird!
    This little wren is signing off with a big grin!
    Wren x

  17. You should put a hashtag on them so you can search/find them on social media!