Lake Wylie Rocks: Random rocks make random smiles

Lake Wylie Rocks!

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Imagine you're having an awful day. A day where it seems like maybe the whole world is against you. Then imagine you happen upon a random painted rock lying on the ground.

You pick it up, it makes you smile. Boom - mission accomplished for Mary Sauer, the creator and doer of "Lake Wylie Rocks."

"We need some distraction in this crazy world that we're living in right now. This is something to take off some of the pressure and give people something to smile about," Mary said.

Armed with a basket of hand-painted rocks, Mary and her grandson make their way around the Lake Wylie area leaving the rocks in out-of-the-way, but still accessible areas. The idea is that someone will find it and have a simple reaction: a smile.

Mary adopted the program from a similar one called "Whidbey Island Rocks" in Washington State where she grew up. Both groups have a Facebook page dedicated to the rocks. Whidbey Islands just started on June 6 and already has more than 7,000 followers.

The concept is simple. Artists and do-gooders paint smooth, flat rocks with messages of inspiration or pictures that might bring a smile. They leave the rocks in areas where they'll be found. "Finders" follow the directions painted on the backs of the rocks and post a picture of it on the corresponding Facebook page.

It's a simple idea that probably won't save the world. But if simple rocks hand-painted from the heart might make just one person smile, it's worth it according to Mary, "It's just fun to spread the happy thoughts."

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