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Central Alberta woman wants to spread message of love, one rock-heart at a time

Mollyann Kemp wants to inspire people to reflect on their own sense of caring
Mollyann Kemp, who lives along Hwy 22 between Rocky and Caroline, is spreading a message of love with hearts made of river rocks. (Contributed photo)

Mollyann Kemp has spent the last five years creating a symbolic cure for what ails us.

“Love is all the world really needs,” said Kemp, who’s been assembling large Valentines out of river rocks since 2017 along her property bordering Hwy 22.

“With a whole lot more love, the world would be just like heaven,” Kemp added. Think of it — no war, crime or indifference. “It would solve all of our problems… We wouldn’t need to lock our doors if we had enough of it,” she explained.

Kemp, who describes herself as spiritual rather than religious, is aware that her rock hearts aren’t going to change anything, in and of themselves.

But she hopes they will inspire people to examine their own feelings and to put love into action — whether it means assisting a stranger, helping a charity help others, or just treating a neighbour as you would want to be treated.

“There are many ways to show love,” she said, and exhibiting some caring has, perhaps, never been as badly needed as during this angry post-pandemic era.

“It needs to be the central focus for everybody for us to make things a whole lot better,” said Kemp, who has also started painting hearts onto rocks and road signs.

The retired forest fire look-out person looks for heart-shaped rocks on river beds.

She’s collected about 11,000 of them and then hauled them off to her property in buckets.

So far, the largest rock in her collection weighs 167 pounds and required some transporting help from a friend.

Some of the heart-shapes Kemp assembles are actually labyrinths. “They’ve got a path to follow,” she said. Others are made of small rocks that resemble hearts themselves.

So far, she has created 26 large heart sculptures — from six to nine feet across — that line her property on the west and east side of Hwy 22.

“I look for an incline,” Kemp said, so that the heart-shapes are obvious to passing motorists.

“People just love them. They honk and they stop and thank me. People have given me high-fives… it gives me the fuel to keep going…”

Some people from around the globe also think Kemp’s on to something. Her project has caught on through social media. Kemp said residents of Montenegro, Germany, England and Japan have so far sent her their own hear-shaped rock sculptures that were inspired by hers.

Recently she’s taken her gesture further, by dropping off painted hearts off at businesses and nursing homes in the Rocky Mountain House area.

Everyone seems to know who the messenger is — “They see me a lot, working alongside the busy highway every day. They know it’s me,” she admitted.

But if more people got in on the act of kindness, “I’d love to spread this stuff…”

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