This is one of a number of small landscaping stones that two girls in our neighborhood have strategically placed in the area. You have to look for them - they are not hard to find, but not placed in obvious locations either. This little bit of beauty - both the beauty of the painted stones, and the beauty in the hearts of the children who carefully found places for them - can bring a bit of joy and a warming of the heart.
In these times, as in all times of calamity and turmoil, the spirit of accidie, or a weariness of heart, is particularly common. I believe it is accentuated at this time by our forced separation from others, by the lack of normal human interaction, human contact, and by the relentless barrage of frightening news to which we are subjected. Add to that the lack of ordinary comfort - a friendly smile, a handshake or hug, the visits from friends and clergy when afraid or ill - and we have an extraordinarily difficult time maintaining a sense of peace and wellness. And yet... beauty and joy may be found when we choose to seek it.
In Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians he writes (emphasis mine);
"I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone; the Lord is very near. There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise. Keep doing all the things that you have learnt from me and have been taught by me and have heard or seen that I do. Then the God of peace will be with you."