A Year Beyond Our Imagining
“And these are the good days in life
Building castles made of sand.
Always knowing that the tide gonna come
To take them back again,” “Summer Time,” by Nick Hernandez
Despite the constant drone of dark, Dadaesque moments throughout the year, I still get a little verklempt when reminiscing about 2017. First, humankind survived it, despite an insane clown president and his feckless flock gone mad. What was once a shining beacon of freedom and democracy has become a hostile and untrusted banana republic – with guns and nukes. But, hey, we held off the great culling for another year. And that ain’t bad!
Lest we forget, we started 2017 in deep, collective despair. People were agonizing over how to reconcile this incomprehensible turn of events, where someone so uniquely unfit for office hoodwinked a minority of Americans and, through the miracle of gerrymandering, voter suppression, Russian interference, and an anachronistic Electoral College, managed to steal the election. A dark time in our history indeed.
But the human spirit is resilient. People galvanized and said, “hell no.” Well a gender did, anyway. Five million women in the U.S. alone woke and announced to the world that Donald J. Trump was unfit for president. It was a stunning rebuke, sending his presidency skittering off the rails from Day 1, and struggling for legitimacy ever since. And so began the rise of that life giving force that will save us all – the Divine Feminine.
Which undoubtedly brought the rains. Blessed, torrential downpours, demonstrating, in the most epic of ways, that life renews itself. Our festering, parched landscape was transformed into a bounty of life. Hills were alight in a riot of flowers and foliage that put smiles on our faces, springs in our steps, and “likes” on our Facebook pages.
And then a cavalcade of fierce warrior women began signing on for public office and service. They knew instinctively, maternally, they had to. And the resistance grew in D.C., with courageous women asserting their voices, like Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Lee, Claire McCaskill, Patty Murray, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski (on occasion), and my favorite rising star, Tulsi Gabbard. And in the final denouement, with the long road paved by the likes of Anita Hill, Andrea Constand, and Stanford rape victim swimmer Brock Turner, the #MeToo movement was birthed and a courageous and indomitable force for justice, decency and equality rose up that is saving us from ourselves. Women. Thank you.
Here in Lagu, it was all goo. No fires, earthquakes, nuclear spills, mudslides, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, murders, traffic fatalities, shark bites or drownings. We didn’t even catch a politician in a lie. Nope, just more narcoleptic bliss living on such a spectacular, sun-kissed parcel of earth.
And when we did have a bit of unpleasantness, like Nazis protesting at Main Beach, thousands of diverse humans showed up to muzzle hatred with inspired messages of love and inclusion. One of the most beautiful days ever in Laguna. And the Nazi’s haven’t been back since.
Nope, not a bad year here in our gilded ghetto of privilege. Clear waters. Healthy fisheries. Robust open space. Ridiculously surging home values. And a new pedestrian plaza downtown.
On these languid, late days of the year, when the rest of the world begins to freeze, we are reminded yet again of our monumental blessings with a placid, viscous Pacific that undulates hypnotically in the sun, followed by blood-on-fire sunsets that make our hairs stand up. On the regular.
I am absolutely addled by it, as I know you are. It’s still about the nicest place to be in the world. These are beyond good times. So here’s hoping our run extends into 2018, and sanity is restored in the world, beginning on Jan. 20 with the second annual Women’s March, and ending on Nov. 6 with the critical midterm elections.
Here’s to you, Laguna. Thanks for making every year special.
Billy Fried hosts “Laguna Talks” on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on KX 93.5, and can be reached at [email protected]