Gary Horton | Rejoice for All the Good That Is Around Us

Gary Horton

Rejoice, friends! Things aren’t as bad as they’ve been — we’re leaving stormy times and we’re entering a calming period of gentle, steady progress. Progress over COVID (finally); progress in closure to the mayhem of stolen election lies and sacking of our own Capitol. A divisive impeachment trial is now behind us, and however you felt about it, at least it’s over.

We’ve just experienced historic times in America. Little wonder, we’ve felt tumbled around as if in a washer and dryer. Perhaps America will emerge a cleaner, more collaborative nation? Perhaps re-embrace civility and a just society? I think we can. We’re exasperated with discord and division. Rejoice for a new collaboration?

I rejoice for the relative quiet in the media, the absence of Twitter storms, the disappearance of name-calling, and the return of the quiet hum of functional government. I rejoice in this period of peace.

And I rejoice to see California eclipsed as the laughingstock of the nation from when Gov. Gavin Newsom dined so finely at the French Laundry restaurant – while the rest of us were huddled masses, locked in our houses… This now replaced by Ted Cruz, AKA “Flying Ted” or “Cancun Cruz.” Or “Mr. completely out of touch with his supposed real job and responsibilities as an elected servant, ditching his deluged, frozen, non-electrified, unpowered state for a few nice warm days in Mexico.” Ted Cruz: “Heroic father crosses Mexican border and travels 1,200 miles to find running water, heat and electricity for his family.” 

Yes, Ted Cruz outdid Gavin Newsom for self-emollition and humiliation for his state. Kiss Ted’s hope for the presidency good riddance. Rejoice that Ted’s rancid, self-serving political future is toast of his own making, and that Texas, not California, looks like the goofiest state in the Union.

And rejoice for our wonderful early spring weather! Warm days, cold nights – flowers blooming, and SoCal is approaching its finest seasons. Slow down, soak it up, and be thankful we’re so blessed with our local weather. Let’s remember, as Texas is on ice lock down, and it’s -15 degrees in Eastern Europe, and half of America is getting drenched and flooded – we’re enjoying the best weather in the world. 

Life is good in the here and now. Go for a stroll. Ride a bike on our 110 miles of pathways. Sit in one of our dozens of beautiful parks and enjoy a meal with friends. Shop at our plentiful outlets, which would so much appreciate your business now. Tip generously to service workers, who’ve paid the dearest personal economic price through COVID. Let’s be joyful that things are opening back up and “normalcy” is now in view.

Yes, we’re stumbling toward this normalcy, but be fair and understand we’ve been in unchartered waters for a year. Rejoice that you, or folks you know, have received near-miraculously developed vaccines, and in mere weeks or short months, all of us will have had our jabs… 

Rejoice that you and I didn’t only just survive a historic political and governmental upheaval, we’ve together also survived a once-in-a-century pandemic, and a giant recession! And for all our mistakes, and for the steep loss of 500,000 (likely to hit 600,000 or more) – we are beating this thing and we will soon overcome. 

We’re in front-row seats watching history be made and boy will we have stories to tell the grandkids. Rejoice we’ve made it through to tell the stories.

And rejoice, the Laemmle Theatre is finished and will open as soon as health concerns allow. Years in the making, finally, the SCV gets and arthouse theater! Rejoice that the L.A. Kings organization will manage our newly acquired city ice rink – as this substantial recreational feature caps what was already an outstanding city public facilities program, with gorgeous parks, streetscapes, aquatic centers, skateboard parks and A-rated schools. 

Rejoice that, in the SCV (admit it or not), we’re sufficiently socialistic to provide for the common good of our kids and our neighbors – and our SCV is the envy of SoCal for it. We live in a great place – and I’m so thankful for the work of those before us, and for those who lead us now.

After a long, hard year – with tumult and pandemic and recession and riots and recession – it’s time to rejoice for our peace, increasing prosperity, for our improving health outlook, and the quiet moment of life with so many good things around us to enjoy. 

Pause to rejoice for all the good around us. Through all our recent troubled times, indeed we really are truly blessed.

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.

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