Reflection on Fall

Posted by Kallie Richter on

Fall on Catalina was incredible.

   It wasn’t just the fresh cool air and yet still warm and inviting seas, or the shift of the season, truly everything was unforgettable. I was so so fortunate to get to stay in a small little bungalow tucked up on a hill. It was shaded by soft Eucalyptus trees with a porch that was simply a stone’s throw away from the ocean. Every night I fell asleep to the roll of the ocean waves and dreamt about what I was going to do the next morning.

   I didn’t let any moment slip me by without gratitude or awareness of how fortunate I was to be experiencing my current circumstances. Mornings were met with Earl Grey, chilly hikes down to the outhouse, chapters of Jane Austen, and effortless devotions with the Lord. If my day wasn’t a scheduled work day on the grounds crew I spent it painting, collecting photographs of the ocean and of objects that drifted to shore, and jumping on boat rides to bring finished works to the gallery in town. 

   When I wasn't working I tried to spend time beside and in the ocean as often as possible. Mornings I walked the shoreline in search of driftwood, broken island ceramics, and shells to paint later. And on days off I snorkeled hoping to capture underwater footage of new fish and sea creatures to paint. After lifeguarding days I swam laps between boat moorings in the fading light to acclimate myself to the gradual cooling ocean temperatures. Every day was magic.

   The people I was so fortunate to live and work alongside on the island brought another element of joy to my life. Banana pancakes for breakfast, my hobo coffee, and Jack Johnson were a regular occurrence with my friends and family on the porch. Movies and caramel popcorn never got old and on some occasions, we’d get lucky enough to spend the evening in town eating seafood pasta. With full bellies, our nighttime boat ride back to our cove was always met with sparking bioluminescence against the ink-colored waters. 

   The ocean never stopped to amaze me. My brother and I were so lucky to enjoy fresh lobster for dinner caught with our own hands through lobster season. My brother Ivan was significantly better at diving for them than I was but the challenge was so exciting. There’s nothing better than sharing a fresh ocean meal on a fire near the shoreline with the people you care most about. 

   This was all because I said yes to the Lord when originally I wanted to say no. None of it would have happened if I had ignored the tugging at my heart to stay. It was simply a matter of stepping into the unknown and trusting the Lord's voice. And after everything it's like the Lord is now saying, "You see, this is why I wanted you to trust me".

  In every moment, the Lord was there through it all. Every golden sunrise, every shared cup of coffee, in every late-night conversation, and in every brushstroke of every painting. I painted and painted until I couldn’t paint anymore. And yet somehow, I never ran out of wood and canvases, the tubes of my favorite acrylic paint, or ideas with which to create.

   I’ve heard some say that that little cove on Catalina Island is different than other places. They say that there the distance between earth and eternity is significantly less. It’s almost where heaven comes in contact with earth. And after this Fall I can fully attest to that. 


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