“I tend to believe whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you.”
~Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A little over a week ago, I learned that one of my heroes, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, had terminal cancer and not long to live on this earth. She’d been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September 2015 and, best I can tell, never breathed a word about it publicly until her lovely article in the New York Times Modern Love column last week. A sort of love letter / personal ad for her husband, the article is a testament to the beauty and light this woman captured and shared in her short time with us. Amy lost her battle with cancer this past Monday, March 13.
My path first crossed Amy’s in 2008, when I stumbled upon The Beckoning of Lovely. I think the best way I can describe the impact she had in my life is to suggest you watch that video. I can sort of imagine how she might have felt when she set out with her yellow umbrella that evening – what if nobody’s there, what if I forget what to say, what if it’s awesome! Amy was a “reach-for-the stars” kind of person. She had a little idea and, even though it might’ve been scary, she threw it out to the world with every expectation of something delightful happening – and boy did it! I think the vulnerability of this little film was what drew me in initially, but it was the way all of these strangers banded together to make something more than lovely that touched me most deeply.
Amy went on to create a whole lot of other lovely after that first little film in 2008, writing 28 successful children’s books, two memoirs, crafting numerous talks/commentaries for NPR and TED and generally inspiring us all to reach a little higher.
In 2012, Sherry Richert Belul, a friend I’d met in a moment of my own personal vulnerability and courage, invited me and others to “Plant a Kiss” in honor of a lovely little book Amy had published that year about the power of a small, selfless act of kindness. I was utterly delighted to do it that year and the next, as well.
After Amy’s article came out last week, many of the original Plant a Kiss participants started to come back together. All of us wanting to somehow send a little love Amy’s way. So, we all set about creating something lovely that we could put into the world quickly – because her article made it clear that time was short.
I’ve kept a little bowl of rose quartz for many years. Rose quartz is considered the “love stone” and I started collecting it many years ago as a tool in my path toward self love. Over the years, it seems my path has often crossed with others who need a little love, so I’ve pulled from my collection here and there, passing stones along to people who needed them. As it happens, there were exactly 17 sets of two left and it just seemed right – a literal spreading of love in the form of a stone that is said to attract love and a reminder of one of Amy’s first projects, “17 Things I Made.”
For the last ten days, I have been out in the world planting my resulting kisses… in a basket at my hobby store, nestled in the straws at a convenience store, on a bench in the sun, in the crook of a tree, in the random-acts-of-kindness section at my bookstore. I hope this little sharing of light was able to lift someone’s load and maybe create a few echoes.
Many others have joined me in Planting Kisses this week – you can read their stories right here.