It’s finally, really truly spring and we are back outside for longer amounts of explore time! While outside time is of course for running, jumping, climbing, rolling and generally getting to explore our backyard-we all sometimes need a break from the big body physical work that we practice outside. This is where rock painting comes in.
Our rock garden is usually a busy place where small dump trucks do construction work, where roses bloom all summer and a place for heavy work to happen with rocks being loaded up into buckets and carried around. But it’s also transforming into a contemplative place a quiet, at times, place. A place to sit with a small paintbrush and a cup of water and watch the magic unfold. The provocation is simple and beautiful-rocks, water, paintbrushes. A seat on a blanket or wooden stump makes for a comfortable spot to touch water to rocks and witness the changes. The children notice that most of the rocks are gray-but the three year old start to notice there are different types of gray-gray blue, dark gray, white gray, gray green, etc. They notice that some rocks turn orange, pink or even polka dotted. We lay the rocks out on canvases made of wood or concrete. After we paint one rock, slowly, quietly, with intention, with ease and enjoyment we add it to the canvas. Then we turn back to the canvas a few minutes later and like magic the rocks have returned to their original color. How did they do it?! I ask out loud. Magic one child replies. We sit and paint for a long time, maybe 15 minutes. We paint until all the water has be used up, until our bodies feel calm and our minds full of wonder.