The beautiful views to and from Nathanael’s Santa Barbara Riviera home inspired this short poem

My son Nathanael recently moved to the Santa Barbara Riviera and would send me photos of the view from his home. One early misty morning he posted a surreal photo taken from his balcony. It inspired this Santa Barbara Riviera Haiku.

View to Nathanael's home

Nathanael had invited me to see for myself how special it is to live there. When I arrived a few days ago, I was struck by the beauty of the place. As I entered the gated property, I sensed a stillness, and noticed the artistic landscaping filled with all kinds succulents and flowering bushes.

As I approached the front steps, I was literally stopped in my tracks, by an overwhelming floral scent. After recognizing it, I had to write a Threshold Haiku, and took a photo of the entrance way to go with it.

Once inside, I was overwhelmed again, this time by the view from his living room window. It looks out onto the city, the ocean and neighboring Channel Islands, topped by an expansive blue sky. Now I knew what he meant. The view is spectacular! The colorful natural scenery is constantly changing. At night the lights of the city and the stars create a different picture. It’s all very relaxing. You don’t want to leave.

Today I told him how lucky he was to be in this place, in such an incredible location. It’s like living in a painting. He said he had spent time exploring the different Santa Barbara neighborhoods, and was immediately drawn to Toro Canyon, Eucalyptus Hill, and the Riviera. Here’s a picture of the view that inspired yet another short poem.

View from Nathanael's home

You’re living in a painting
In the eye of the artist’s
Object of adoration

©Ken Chawkin
Santa Barbara
April 18, 2016


A bit of history

I remembered the first time I came to Santa Barbara, in April 1974, an exotic welcome relief from the cold Canadian winter. I was a student at MIU, based in a temporary campus in Goleta. The university had rented an enclosed apartment complex. After a few months an actual college campus was purchased and we all moved to our permanent home in Fairfield, Iowa. Those were exciting days. We were pioneers!

The most recent time I was in Santa Barbara was in the summer of 2012 on my way to Greg and Britta Reitman‘s wedding in Ventura. Miriam Kasin, a friend who was living in Santa Barbara at the time, showed me around town for a few days before we drove to the wedding, where we had a fabulous time.

Yesterday, Nathanael took me to see the facility where MIU, now MUM, started in Goleta. That was 42 years ago! The place looked the same, but obviously different. I had turned 30 at that time, 5 years younger than Nathanael is now. By the time I was his age, I would already be married and he would be born a year later. And here we were, together sharing a part of my early history. What a difference a generation has made, thanks to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi!

Where MIU was in Goleta, CA

Central courtyard where MIU had set up campus in Goleta, California

For my birthday, Nathanael took me to The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach for lunch. While waiting for our food I received a phone call from an unfamiliar caller. Here’s what happened.




4 Responses to “The beautiful views to and from Nathanael’s Santa Barbara Riviera home inspired this short poem”

  1. Threshold Haiku by Ken Chawkin for Nathanael | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Can group meditation prevent violent crime? Surprisingly, the data suggests yes: New study The beautiful views to and from Nathanael’s Santa Barbara Riviera home inspired this short po… […]


  2. Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] April, I went to visit my son Nathanael at his new home in the Santa Barbara Riviera. For lunch he took me to a well-known outdoor restaurant on the beach […]


  3. A Remembrance of Maharishi by James Powell | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Mahesh Yogi, which I helped produce. I had attended Maharishi International University, MIU, in Goleta, California, in 1974, and moved to the Fairfield, Iowa campus to complete my last course before […]


  4. Dawn in Santa Barbara — Haiku by @kenchawkin | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] They live high up in the hills of the Riviera overlooking this beautiful city and the ocean. The panoramic views are spectacular! It’s like living in a constantly changing painting. My first visit a year […]


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