Lewisburg is often described as a magical place, and now it can claim to be a place where, perhaps, your wishes can come true.
A Wishing Tree sits in front of 228 Market St., Lewisburg, where passersby can take a notecard and pen from a hanging stocking and write a wish to place upon the tree.
The tree was the brainchild of Denise Turpack, a former retailer and homeowner along Market Street.
“I got the idea in September of last year. I was going to decorate out front for the holidays and just decided I wanted to promote more of a message of peace,” she said.
She got the idea while traveling and after seeing a similar tree in an airport, but there was no attribution or information as to its purpose or where it came from. Turpack decided to do some research and based her idea on Yoko Ono’s “Wishing Tree” project, which began in 1996.
The concept is simple. The Wishing Tree is an open letter to individuals to write down their wishes on small tags before attaching them to a tree. According to information online about the project, Ono remembered writing similar messages as a child in Japan and attaching them to trees in the temple Courtyard. The tags resembled blooming cherry blossoms.
The interactive display has been found at many museums throughout the world, and once complete the wishes are collected and sent to the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland. The tower is named in memory of Ono’s late husband, John Lennon.
The purpose of Ono’s project was to highlight similarities between individuals, rather than highlighting their differences, and serves as a living monument that represents all the participant’s dreams, large and small.
To Turpack, the wishes help to send out messages of peace, love, light and positive feelings into the world. When she decides to conclude the project she would like to send the wishes to Iceland.
The message of light and love is not only outside of her building, she has tried to extend it inside as well.
If you walk into Turpack’s former retail space you will notice the calm. The next thing you will notice is artwork on the walls, all part of Turpack’s Body of Work she calls “In My Mother’s Womb”.
“I wanted to reclaim the space,” she said, adding that her intention was to make it a healing space.
“One will hopefully sense their own vibrating heartbeat and the cocoon like feeling that this space offers.”
Truthfully, Turpack confessed, a few years ago she chose to step back from her hairstyling business, become silent and focus on some internal work. It had started out as quest to find some relief for chronic headaches and migraines she was experiencing. What she found instead was a plethora of information on Eastern medicine, integrative medicine, energy work and self-healing.
“We didn’t have the Internet when I was researching. I did a lot of reading and digesting,” she said, adding that she was desperate to find a way to heal her life while seeking and searching for peace.
There were a lot of things to overcome in her journey, Turpack said. Not only her health issues, but a fire in her home, the closure of her business, and some family issues. Add into that some “ethereal” experiences that she could not fully understand or explain.
“I was simply trying to survive,” she said about the onset of her journey.
Always a creative person, she began to find her voice and solace in her art, with the goal of having her own art show.
Once a month she opens her space to offer Sound, or Immersion, therapy featuring local musician Andy Seal, adding that the purpose of the studio continues to evolve and expand.
A Reiki practitioner since 2000, Turpack wants to make it clear to others that she simply chose a different path in terms of peace and healing and does not want to downplay traditional medicine or religion. In fact, the basis for her artwork “In My Mother’s Womb” is based on Psalm 139:13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
That’s where the story for all of us begins, she added.
Her suggestion for anyone on a spiritual journey is to “just be true to yourself.”
Turpack opens her studio most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people to come and experience her space and see her artwork. The Wishing Tree is available at any time for people to place their wishes or dreams, sharing in the collective hope that they will come true.