Today is my birthday. Just shy of a milestone year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on years past as well as set my sights on what lies ahead. I have been gifted with a day that also commemorates one of the world’s greatest visionaries, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. It is in his spirit that I am moving today, set adrift on legacies and inspiration. Cocooned in perseverance and not so random acts of courage. Dreaming of what I dare hope to accomplish in my lifetime. Fearlessly ambitious.
Tears that I’ve shed over vast disappointments leave no imprint. I thought we would have been much further up the mountain top than the day he left us. I thought I would have been much closer to my version of the promise land that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl. But I’ve learned just because it hasn’t happened in the time frame in which we expect, it doesn’t mean that it is over.
Don’t blow out the candles.
The spark of hope illuminates from us when we keep going even when all seems lost; even when it’s not certain that we will actually get there. Our convictions, our passion, our vision compels us to move forward and propels us even further than we thought we’d go. We can cry out in agony from the unfairness of it all or we can rejoice in the small victories that we’ve accomplished along the way.
But don’t you dare blow out the candles.
Let your light shine so bright even through the darkest moments of the darkest times. This life that we are gifted to live requires us to be courageous, mandates us to be difference makers and change masters. It will not be an easy road to the top of the mountain and the path to achieve your impossible dream may be rife with many pitfalls and much despair. But the alternative is to lay down and give up, not knowing that if you had taken that very next step, you could very well have reached the summit.
Today is my birthday.
I will write, I will encourage, and I will celebrate. I will move through my day as I have been purposed to do. However, as the chords of a familiar birthday tune fades, I will not blow out my candles. Every flicker is a reminder of the responsibility that I have to our forefathers and our future generation to carry the torch, to ignite hope and to be the flame of change I want to see.