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Soul searchers take bucolic back road

An orange grove on a back road far from town is probably the last place you'd expect to find a New Age shop. But there sits A House of 7 Windows. If your travels happen to take you across its wooden porch and through the front door, you'll find what proprietor Judith Power calls "a healing place."

Her store on Boy Scout Road sells everything from books on psychic development to herbs for healing.

"I love helping people find themselves, metaphysically," said Power, 57.

The former general store that once dispensed life's physical necessities to area growers now caters to spiritual needs.

"Metaphysics is not a religion or a philosophy; it's a way of life," said Power, surrounded by the accoutrements of doctrines from Eastern and Western spirituality. "Whether you think of God as White Buffalo, Buddha or Jesus, it can't be confined. It's immense."

This bucolic way station for the soul hasn't always been so inviting. Three years ago when Power and her husband, Will, bought the circa-1954 building, "the windows were boarded shut, there was junk around, and the weeds were so bad you couldn't see the orange trees," Power said.

In three weeks, with the help of friends, they had cleared out the refuse, renovated and moved in. Now, a flower garden grows where junk once obscured the orange grove. Another garden, where visitors can sit quietly, read or meditate, flanks the building.

"I have people who come in and say, "Judy, I just need a place to be quiet for a while,' " Power said.

Power grew up around her mother's antique shop in Pennsylvania. After raising three children of her own, Power's interest in collecting semiprecious stones evolved into House of 7 Windows. She holds classes in crystals, American Indian beliefs, meditation, psychic awareness and "whatever people ask for."

The Powers, who make their home in the spacious two-story building, share it with a white cockatoo named Beau and two honey-colored dogs, Tea Cup and Honey Bear. A gurgling indoor fountain greets visitors as they enter, not far from a white wolf skin draped across a chair.

"Most of the people who come in here are already open" to new ideas, said Power, settling down next to a case filled with crystals and American Indian jewelry. "Most of the time they are hunting for a better spiritual way of life."

_ If you have a story about Keystone, call Jackie Ripley at 226-3458.