The Rock Lady
Story by Melissa McConnell, Seville Resident
There is a new woman in town, one who keeps secrets and hides things. She hasn’t been here very long, having only been a resident of Seville for about a year. But you may know her. Some people call her “The Rock Lady.”
I stumbled across The Rock Lady while browsing around on Facebook. I had been seeing friends posting pictures of their children with big smiles on their faces and holding out colorful painted rocks they had found around Seville. Captions said these kids were out rock hunting, or simply found these wonderful surprises while playing at the park. Some rocks were even found in people’s own front yards.
I continued to see more and more of these posts. There were pictures of families going out hunting together, pictures of kids with rocks painted with cartoon characters, holiday messages, insects or colorful designs, pictures of kids finding rocks on their way to and from school and pictures of kids excitedly painting new rocks to hide. These pictures had one thing in common – kids with pure joy on their faces.
I decided to look into who or what was behind all this adventurous, creative fun. That’s when I found The Rock Lady.
Her name is Sarah Allsup. She and her family moved to Seville about a year ago from Oregon for her husband Bill’s job. Sara and Bill have two kids — Zac is nine and Kenzie is seven. Sarah’s parents moved with them to Seville as well.
Sarah and her kids had been painting and hunting rocks with Mesa Gilbert Rocks for a few months and her kids loved it. Sarah says “I would take them on a rock hunt every Sunday morning and we loved it, but I really wanted to bring it closer to home! I thought it would be so much fun to go on a walk in our neighborhood and find rocks that maybe someone they knew from school had painted. I thought it might be a good way to meet new people, as we were still new, and to bring or community together through kindness, art, and exercise.”
Sarah and her kids decided to hide some rocks in Seville. She posted a notice on Nextdoor Seville (a neighborhood social network) that they would be hiding these colorful treasures in the community for anyone to find and the response was incredible. “I got such a great response from this and had so many people hunting that I decided to start a Seville Facebook Group and see what happened. “
What happened was her “Seville AZ Rocks-SAR” Facebook page quickly caught on. Sarah created the page on October 22 and within a few short weeks had nearly 250 members. That’s impressive, considering it is just for Seville residents.
In addition to re-hiding any rocks that are found Sarah says there are a few more rules to participating in SAR. “The goal of Kindness Rocks is to bring joy to another person when they find a special rock! The only rules are to keep the rocks “clean” and appropriate for kids. We are not all artists and it isn’t about the best painter, we want everyone to participate and even a rock painted by a two-year-old with put a smile on someone’s face! Even if you are an adult who paints like a two-year-old, that’s ok, you are the only one who will know! We ask that you do not remove rocks from public areas and do not hide rocks in the grass as it can get in the way of lawn mowers. Have fun and enjoy the time with your family! Please make sure to label the back of your rocks with Seville AZ Rocks on Facebook or #SAR on Facebook, so people know where to find us. We try to post pics of rocks we are about to go out and hide sometimes with clues of where in the community they are hidden, and we love to see pictures of the rocks that are found with the smiles on people’s faces! We would love for everyone to post their creations and their finds on our group!”
And as you can see in the posts on her Facebook page, her hopes of bringing the community together and meeting new people were realized. Sarah has recently been getting recognized and called The Rock Lady. “I love that people have seen my picture in the SAR Facebook group and come up to me to introduce themselves and thank me for starting this in Seville. I love being known as The Rock Lady! I’ve even had kids at school“ (Sarah volunteers at Riggs Elementary) “come up to me and tell me about the rocks they found or what they are painting… This makes my heart so full!”
Well, Sarah, I’m pretty sure you and Seville AZ Rocks are making other people’s hearts full as well.
Thanks, Rock Lady.