The Summerland Cottage
Along the West Coast of America, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, there is a beautiful place called Santa Barbara. Because of its natural beauty and pleasant living environment, it is also called “Paradise.” Driving north on Highway 101, after entering Santa Barbara County but before getting to Santa Barbara downtown, there is a quiet, picturesque little town called Summerland that is built on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is a surfers’ heaven, because on the other side of freeway, there is a park which accesses the beach. There is one commercial street in Summerland, it is famous for its antique shops, spas, and small restaurants.
A few years ago, I received a phone call from a dear friend M. Over the phone, she asked me straightaway if I would be interested in buying her house which was on the top of the hill in Summerland. It did not take me long to say “yes.” I knew M very well, I knew that house, I knew the people who had lived there, and I knew its location held the best fengshui and investment value. The cottage was small and a bit old, but it had its own charm, mostly it had a great ocean view from the front and wonderful mountain view in the back. Each time I drive there, it feels like the waves of Mother Ocean always give me a nice welcome, and then I enter into a big hug from Father Mountain who opens his strong arms. The weather is almost always perfect, flowers blossom all year long.
When I got the key to the Summerland cottage, a peacock was standing on the roof making funny sounds. I opened the front door and sat quietly inside the house. When I closed my eyes, stories of this house started to present themselves to me. It felt like a movie was playing on its white walls… I saw how a group of spiritual people set up sacred fire and shared enlightenment ideas in the 1950’s; I saw how the Hippies who pounded their drums and enjoyed a free lifestyle in the 1960’s. I saw the transformation of this house and the transformation of the people who lived here, and how this house held its own sense of integrity. It seemed to me that whoever lived here, her life was about to change into something more meaningful to her heart.