Touched by the Radiance of Love

Did you ever experience a time when all movements you were taking seemed to be slowed down, and your awareness of something extremely special taking place permeated the very essence of your Being?

On a Wednesday in April, I had the task with another Friend of Turning Point and its President, Ruth Brown to pick-up trees and plants generously donated by Ronald and Beth Gregory. They were destined to be planted along the road leading to the future site of the community dedicated and non-profit retreat center called Turning Point near 5103 on Double Bridges Road, in Meherrin. These plantings were inspired by the Spirit of Earth Day and Arbor Day. As a former Park Ranger on both the city and Federal Levels, my life continues to be dedicated to the stewardship of this magnificent planet that we share.

He that plants trees loves others beside himself. — Thomas Fuller

The Farm House

We pulled up to the beautiful farmhouse belonging to Beth and Don in the early morning streaming with the vibrancy of Spring. The first thing I noticed were the colorful translucent flowers dancing in the bright but delicate rays of the sun. Each species, it appeared, was planted with much love and intention. The gardens that meandered around the house sent an invitation to come and explore! Beth awaited us with a warm welcome and hug, ushering us into the brilliant mix. We were introduced to each species as you would to a dear friend. As I witnessed this loving and intimate relationship, I felt such Gratitude. My friend was not only sharing her beloved plants, but also her life, her knowledge and her passion for gardening. Her connection to the environment.  All of this would be transplanted to Turning Point. What a gift!

Don soon followed into the garden, and we received another loving welcome as he also shared his years of experience, his knowledge and connection to the plants. Some of the trees and plants were already carefully dug up, and still others were swaddled with newspaper and rich soil as a most cherished infant would be lovingly dressed. We learned that some of these gifts were given by their friends when they acquired their property and homestead.  Beth alluded to the joy she experienced in sharing them with us and Turning Point. I had the sense that they both were extending out in love as they had received love. A beautiful living gesture that will permeate through the future generations of visitors. They too would feel the love, the radiance that saturated my Spirit that beautiful morning. 

Planting at Turning Point Healing Retreat Center

In the calm after the storm on Saturday afternoon, the numerous plants were gently and lovingly planted in their new home. The sunlight was as brilliant as that early morning visit with Beth and Don. I have committed to easing their transition with frequent watering and visits. I felt such a strong connection to them, their labor of love and care invested in each plant. A gentle wind caressed us. The wind was coming from the elevated spot that would one day be visited by many. 

I felt the sensation of love in my heart. A feeling of expansiveness, joy, hope, connectedness, Being part of something so much larger than self. I looked at Ruth, and with an embrace we celebrated in the rhapsody of Spring, this season of rejuvenation and renewal. You are invited to our future gatherings to catch the Spirit of love with us all!


Debbie Vigneri

DebbieAnne Vigneri

Naturalist, Yoga/Meditation/Ayurveda (maintaining health and well-being through the practice of yoga) Instructor, licensed Therapeutic Body Worker and Therapist, and humble Secretary for TPHRC (Turning Point Healing Retreat Center). You are welcome to call or email 518-248-7220 or