Once a year, on Father’s Day, Anne and James Hubbell, open their home, studios, and Ilan-Lael Foundation grounds to the public. This is the first year my husband and I made the pilgrimage. I say it that way, because the property is truly a magical place to explore and it is far off the beaten path of San Diego.
I did expect to see really cool architecture and fine art. What I didn’t expect was to see it from every angle, in every corner, and every vista. The property even has their own hashtag #HubbellHill. The experience began the moment we arrived in the Wynola Farms parking area. We met other Hubbell House virgins and were greeted with watermelon slices from local vendors. It was hot, but it seemed appropriate for the day of lingering that was to ensue. Our volunteer shuttle driver encouraged us to stay as long as we want up on the hill, take as many photos as we could, as the artist couple wanted us to get inspired and take that inspiration with us. I thought that was nice, but I wasn’t expecting all that we got.
Although the $50 price tag seemed a bit much, I was going on faith that it would be worth it and justified it as a donation regardless. Now I get it. Both Jim (as they refer to him) Hubbell, now 81, and his wife Anne, along with their adult children and a myriad of helpful docents were on premises sharing the history and answering questions about the artists, family life and property. Everyone was in positive spirits and well informed.
When we arrived at the top of the hill we started meandering and immediately were immersed in a naturally beautiful environment which was intricately enhanced with the Hubbell touch of art, and architecture. I was instantly taken with the archway to the garden and beautiful agave plant artistically grown and placed. Then I turned to look at the side of the archway, and it was gently adorned with colorful tile and stone. If I hadn’t turned, I would have missed it completely. I am so glad the shuttle driver had given us the heads up to look in the corners and more closely at the pieces to see what we can discover.
Then the chapel/Quiet Place appeared and was truly a special spot. The mosaic, crystals, and half dome shaped venue was a place I wish I could go every day and spend some time in solitude there. Nonetheless, I will take the inspiration to spend more time in quiet meditation.
“You Never Know” Philosophy
The highlight of the time spent on #HubbellHill was my brief conversation with Jim Hubbell. After thanking him for his generosity in opening his property, I asked him if he had planned for every corner to reveal a unique artistic view. He humbly said, “No. I constantly find new things in the art. I still have so many ideas.” Then he went on to tell me, “You never know what you’ll see. To this day, even though my wife doesn’t like beer, I offer it to her. Because you never know, one day she may want one.”
What an incredible remark to hear from someone who has seen and created so much in his life. And yet he never assumes he knows. I think this philosophy keeps the creative channel open in his heart and mind. Imagine what life can bring if we remain open to the possibilities, seeing something new in that which we’ve come accustomed to year after year! I left the property more inspired than I expected.
Ignite Your Creativity
Though you may not have visited the Ilan-Lael Foundation yet, perhaps spending some time with these photos will inspire you to explore and look for the exquisite creativity that is hiding in the obvious.
Coaching Questions To Help Expand Your Creativity
Use these questions to get into the flow of your creative channel.
- Where can I be more open?
- What if I took a minute longer to ponder, explore, and spend time with people and things in my life?
- Is there an opportunity at hand to suspend or let go of judgment about an event, person, or thing?
Please share with us what inspires you and how you tap into your creativity. Submit your comments below.