We took the kids hiking yesterday, hitting up one of our favorite trails from last summer – the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Ripton, Vermont. The trail is unique in that Robert Frost’s poetry is scattered throughout. It’s especially suited to kids because it’s a short loop (1 mile) with almost no elevation change, lots of beautiful scenery, a few bridges, and a field of blueberries.
Now that the twins are almost three, and completely done with kid carriers, hikes are much more exciting for everyone. As soon as we set foot on the trail, all three were running and exploring.
It was a magical early morning for all of us. Kendra found a few ripe blueberries for the kids. I spotted a deer gracefully crossing the river. The kids found a great tree for climbing.
As we rounded the last of the loop, there was a sign with an arrow. It didn’t interest the girls much, but for some reason, Evan was fascinated. I decided to snap a picture of him, not realizing he had made a discovery.
Tucked into the signpost was a small rock. He pulled it out, turning it over in his hands. He was so excited to find a treasure. It seemed fitting our little cardiac boy found the rock with a heart.
Addie held the rock next, and we noticed the writing on the back, “FB Love Rocks.”
We weren’t sure where the rock had come from, who had made it, or why, but everyone was so delighted to find such a sweet message of love in the Green Mountains that the kids decided they needed to make some of their own to leave on future hikes. As we looped back to the Middlebury River, we headed to the bank to play in the water and gather rocks.
On our way home, I opened Facebook and searched for “FB Love Rocks.” I quickly found the Love Rocks page, and read the heart wrenching story that inspired the rocks. On October 20, 2013, two young sisters, Anna and Abigail, were struck by a car while playing in a pile of leaves outside of their home in Oregon. While working through their grief, the girls’ parents, Susan and Tom, were inspired to spread love and joy. Susan writes on the Love Rocks website:
We decided shortly after the girls went to Heaven that we were not going to allow the tragedy of one night to define our girls’ lives here on earth and the life they were now living in Heaven. Their legacy would not be this tragedy but rather the love and joy that they poured out to everyone who knew them and hopefully everyone who would hear their story. 6 months after the girls went to Heaven, Tom and I felt nudged to share a project that we as a family did for our wedding in June of 2011. The girls, Tom’s mom and I spent time cutting out fabric hearts from our favorite fabrics and then Mod Podging them to river rocks. We made one for each of our guests to take home and another one that would be written on by our guests for us to keep. These little rocks have held a lot of meaning in our house since our wedding day and are placed in various rooms so that we can enjoy them no matter where we are.
Susan and Tom began making love rocks in honor of the girls. Over the last few years the movement has grown beyond their family and friends, and Love Rocks have been left and found all over the world – including the one we found in Vermont.
Kendra and I were so touched by the story of the rocks, and the beautiful way Anna and Abigail’s parents are honoring their lives. We feel compelled to join the Love Rocks movement, and Addison, Evan, and Kate are excited to help us spread some love and joy on our upcoming hikes – because the world can always use more love.