Ah, the joys of early January. Less than three weeks after the winter solstice, the days are still short and the nights long. The ubiquitous cacophony and overwrought glitter of the winter holiday season are now past. Some of us dread going to the mailbox, only to be greeted by bloated credit card and utility bills. The doldrums of this time of year are marked by the great travel bargains to be found until later in the month, as exhausted December revelers go into their brief hibernation. In many parts of the country, the trees are bare and the landscape buried in snowdrifts, at first fresh and bright, but after a few days, grayed and dull. The desire for sun and warmth can be overpowering.
Indeed, the lyrics for this week’s selection, which became a hit almost exactly forty-five years ago, describe the sentiments of a man, mired in the depths of winter, longing for the sunny warmth of that great and now even bluer state of California. Home to one in seven U. S. citizens, one can only hope that despite its current economic malaise, it may lead the way to ground-breaking progressive reforms that might eventually spread to the rest of the country. One might recall that the U.K. launched their system of socialized medicine while reeling from the crushing debts and destruction left in the wake of World War II. One can only hope that California, in addition to serving as a winter haven from the snow and cold gripping much of this country, will reassert its leadership and become a new beacon of hope for the remainder of the nation.