By Heather Gibson
HURLEYVILLE – Too often I find myself defending our little hamlet, or our county. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I long for. A good book store is the first thing that comes to mind. Do I share your frustration when it comes to Friday afternoon traffic? Sure I do! When 9/11 occurred, I was actually out in California. I was grounded there for the week when all air traffic was shut down. As I watched the news, non-stop in my hotel room, there was only one place I longed to be. That place was Hurleyville. Because when tragedy strikes, it’s comforting to be surrounded by family and friends. People who provide a safe place for grief, and can help us process this complex adventure called life.
This county is filled with good, kind people who care deeply for each other. I’ve always said, “Small towns are filled with people who come together to support each other.”
I’ve seen this during times of sudden death or illness, and when someone loses their home to a house fire. Time and time again, I’ve seen the people of our hamlet and county rise together to show just what people can do to help each other. Kindness can come in big ways, like mentioned above, but kindness can also be spread with thoughtful and intentional simplicity.
Christina Buckler, of Neversink, and her daughter Cadence were visiting relatives in Broome County, NY when the five year old found a rainbow painted rock at one of the Binghamton parks. This simple rock filled Cadence with an incredible amount of joy and excitement. It turns out the rock was painted by an unknown source from a group called Broome County Rocks. So Ms. Buckler did some research and found out that this was a group that painted rocks and then hid them around the county for folks to find. Further research showed that several groups around the country were also doing this.
Ms. Buckler was moved by their efforts and began our very own Sullivan County Rocks. She went home with Cadence and painted a bunch of rocks and hid them around the Neversink area first. This movement began to spread and rocks have popped up in Narrowsburg, Monticello, Livingston Manor and even at greater distances, such as New Jersey and Florida. There are groups who are actively involved in painting, such as BOCES and Tri-Valley School District. It’s also becoming a popular activity for local birthday parties.
Sullivan County Rocks encourages us all to participate in this positive movement by keeping the paintings kid-friendly and positive, using appropriate paints, like acrylics, that will last outdoors, keeping the rocks outside and not trespassing on private property, and finally, painting Sullivan County Rocks FB on the back so everyone knows it’s part of the group. When all of that is done, you then can hide the rocks around the county in public places.
When you find rocks: please post your photos/stories on the Facebook group page and then re-locate the rocks to a different location for someone else to find. Please visit their Facebook page to see all the pictures people have posted of the unique and beautifully painted rocks they’ve already found.
“This is a great way for kids to participate in an art project that doesn’t necessarily have to get hung up in your home,” Ms. Buckler said. “Once the rock is painted it can now be admired outside and in the community, because we are all running out of wall space.”
Congratulations to Christina Buckler and to all who are participating in this positive movement. It is an active way for all of us to enjoy our beautiful outdoor environment, to spread positive messages, and simple artwork that bring joy and light to our little county that could. So next time you find yourself thinking of positive examples of why you love living here, think of Christina and Cadence and don’t forget to mention that it’s the PEOPLE of Sullivan County who truly ROCK!