Sounding Off:

I look at you, Catalina, every day. I am lucky to have the advantage of seeing you float on the Pacific Ocean right in front of me. I have an unobstructed view of you.

You are like a secretive woman. Some days you disappear behind the clouds or the fog. It appears as if the ocean has swallowed you. At times you spread a thin veil over yourself, where I can only see your outline. Then the veil lifts and you are exposing yourself in such clarity that I feel that, if I extended my hand, I could touch you. At such a time, I can see the rock formation on one end of you, and the beige-brown color of the rocks.

At other times you seem far away, as though overnight you have traveled a great distance farther from the shores.

There are days when you, Catalina, are embraced in a blue light.

I call you then the Blue Mountain or Blue Catalina. The light plays tricks on you. You are amazing!

You are a tiara on the endless gown of the sea that embraces you with lacy whitecaps on a windy day, or mirrors your beauty when the sea is calm.

How dull it would be without you, having only a view of the sea till the horizon — nothing to break the monotony. You are a view stopper!

At night most of the time, you melt into the darkness of the sea. On rare nights when all the stars sparkle above us, I can see your jewels glittering at Avalon.

Never the same picture is reflected by you. Your sunsets are miraculous, stunning. If there are clouds to cast back the sun’s setting rays, it is breathtaking.

There are the colors of the rainbow. The dominant color is still the spectrum of red, orange and pink.

But I have seen purple, yellow and bluish green as well.

Finally, when the sun sets behind your mountains, as if it is slipping into the ocean behind you, for a long time there are triumphant rays of color, till all fades and you, Catalina, cover yourself in dark shadows.

AGGIE DEMETRESCU is a Newport Beach resident.

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