I’m known as a horse artist so what’s up with my heart shaped rock art? I’ve never been the overly sappy type but a week after my mom’s sudden passing from a heart attack I had found a heart shaped rock during my walk and it instantly made me think of her. I’d never found a heart shaped rock before so it seemed profound.
And then it kept happening, I kept finding them. I never looked for them, but I’d stop to tie a loose shoe lace and there would be a heart shaped rock by my foot. I’d dropped the mail by the mailbox and when picking it up I’d find another rock. Each time I found one it made me think of my mom and still feel connected to her. A memory link enhancer of sorts. Nowadays I find most of these rocks when I’m with my horses, whether hand walking them or while from up in the saddle. Once I’ve even found a heart shaped rock in my horses’ stall that was picked up by and then dislodged from his hoof!
I felt I had to do something with these special rocks so I started putting them in collages and even my custom Painted Ponies. I also love using words in art and now the best heart stones are featured in my Love Rocks series of worded plaques where I substitute the letter “o” with heart shaped rocks. For me they are also like condensed versions of affirmations. Many times they are often messages or reminders I need for myself and the plaques help reinforce positive intentions such as believing in myself or things to be grateful for.
During one of the last conversations I had with my mom we were theorizing how God (or universe, spirit, use term of your choice) speaks to people in their own language. I had joked that I’d be spoken to via stuff I find on the side of the road as I’d never seemed to outgrow picking up rocks and “junk”. Somehow the topic then lead to death and I told her if something happened to her she’d better send me signs, and none of that “pennies from heaven crap”. She laughed. Unexpectedly, she died the very next day.
After finding that first heart shaped rock after her death, I began to find them on certain dates, like my birthday or during special occasions. But sometimes the most meaningful rocks are the ones I find when it seems all is wrong with the world and it makes me stop as a reminder is brought back to me. I’m not saying these rocks physically laid in my path are from my mother. But every time I find one I’m reminded of her last message to me — that we are loved and protected. Is it more magical that the rocks exist or that they are found and serve as reminders? They were there all along, so personally I believe the magic lies in being open to seeing and finding messages of love everywhere and in anything, even rocks. So maybe it’s my job as an artist to find and share them so others can experience these reminders and feel more connected and better too.