Some people look at Touchstone Ranch and the work I’ve put into it over the years. They say, “Frank, this place takes a TON of work! What keeps you going?”
When they do this, my wife always rolls her eyes (although she’s kind enough not to do it too obviously), because she knows that I’m going to talk about my dream—my vision—for Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center.
I tell them,
”Well, it is a lot of work. But years ago I had a dream that was so vivid and so powerful, that it has sustained me and given me the inspiration I needed to keep going, even when things get tough.”
“This dream…and really, for me it was a vision, a spiritual calling that was impossible to ignore…was to create a place of life, growth, and healing. In my mind’s eye, I saw a building. A building (or a ranch!) providing help and healing for the people and animals that live there. I saw stables of animals from all over the world: horses, goats, zebras, even a kangaroo! The animals were all being cared for by people who were in need of help themselves.
The truth in this is that we ALL need healing sometimes, and it’s easier to give care than it is to accept care for yourself. But by working with these animals, the folks in my vision were remembering what it is like to love something besides yourself. They were relearning to give and receive love—all while being able to be active in the outdoors, taking in all the splendor that the earth has to offer.
My dream also included a building with many floors (14 to be exact!) that would be a community hub—including a general goods store, a school, medical facilities, and a home for the elderly where they could be cared for with love. I love the idea of children and elderly folks co-existing—of children bringing their bright spirits to older people, while the elderly share their wisdom with the young ones.
After being at the place in my vision, they would be able to carry this experience with them for the rest of their lives. As they went out into the world, healed and ready to live a truly wonderful life, they’ll think back to the time and work they put in at this ranch, and it would be grounding memory; a touchstone to return to whenever they were having moments of fear and doubt. And that’s how my vision ended—knowing that I would create this place I was seeing. It was—and is—my life’s mission to continue to help the world through the work that we do at Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center.”
It’s a long speech, I know. My wife never fails to remind me about how long it is! But I always enjoy telling it, because when I do, I get excited all over again, remembering that I LOVE this place, and how proud I am of the work that we do here.