JHB 51st birthday cake

To all those who have sent notes, text messages, gifts, Facebook posts, and good energy my way on my birthday — I want to say thank you.  I feel the love, and I genuinely appreciate it.  Many have asked what exciting thing did I do today? Did I spend it with high profile friends, in exotic lands or visiting an exciting place.  Was I ‘busy?’  The answer to all of that, is no.

My amazing sister, Mara Hoskins spontaneously flew in from Houston, Texas and we stayed up until 6:30am this morning doing the most basic things — enjoying each other’s company and lots of joy. Waking a few hours later, and after dropping my sister off at the airport, I headed back home and entered what I would call ‘a prepared state of reflection and assessment.’

Reflection, around where my life has been — looking myself honestly and candidly in the mirror while I did it. And an even more blunt and candid assessment around what I desired for our collective future; tied to my life’s mission  — namely this Silver Rights Movement.

I came away — quieted, and centered.  I found within the midst of my outer day, an inner island of peace.  A balloon of possibilities, to match the balloons given to me by my staff, to float away on.

JHB 51st birthday

And so, as the day wraps up, I find myself in a state of quiet and centered awareness.  A gentle flood of joy, cascading over my head like a morning wave in Maui, Hawaii.

By midday, I had found the person I thought I had viewed in the mirror.  Me. Whole and complete.  Ready to take on a new world of both challenges and possibilities.

I also found myself profoundly appreciative of all of the unearned expressions of love, even when my head was turned away for almost the entire day.  And so, for each and every person that was kind enough to stop their day to think about me on mine — thank you.  I love you too.  In 2017, you will see me show that love, even more.

Okay, let’s go…

John Hope Bryant


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