A year ago September, a friend bought me what he called a rose. It was not the conventional flower that goes by that name, but a dried ball that looked like a piece of evergreen that had died. My friend instructed me to put it in water and watch what happens and so I did. It came to life, got its rich green color back.

So for about a year and a half, it’s been thriving in water in a shallow ceramic bowl on my kitchen table. While it has lived well in that environment, it hit me last weekend while I was purging my apartment that it needed a change. I came across this fat glass vase and suddenly I had a vision. I put blue aquarium glass on the bottom and then put the rose in there, sort of suspended in water. It is sitting on my window sill and it looks beautiful when the sunlight filters through it. Now it can expand in all directions. It is not limited by the flat surface it sat on before.

This all prompted me to do a little research on what the rose means. I found out it is actually called a Rose of Jericho, also known as the Resurrection flower. It is a desert plant growing in the sands of Egypt, Arabia, Syria and Mexico. Here’s how the story goes, as explained by a website called azarius.net and another called mushroomgallery.html:

“For long periods, these ‘roses’ live in desert regions, growing and reproducing as any other plant until the environment no longer supports an adequate existence. When this time has come, the flowers and leaves are dead and fallen, they lose moisture and the drying branches curl inwards, forming a round ball. They retract their roots from the soil and allow the desert winds to carry them across the desert, until one day they arrive in a damp place where they can continue to grow and spread. The ball then expands again, opens flat on the ground and deposits its seeds, which germinate. Once watered, the dried-up looking young plants soon begin to bud. You could say they feel their way through this process, as they don’t necessarily remain in the first place they stop, but feel into the nature of the place to see if it is adequate to enhance growth. There they may stay, and grow, or indeed they may move again many times.”

“The Rose of Jericho is used in rituals of voodoo and Cuban santeria to generate love, luck and money. It brings peace, power and abundance. It is a rare magical commodity, sought in the Holy Land by pilgrims as a holy relic. The amazing Resurrection Plant is a marvelous example of Nature’s Wonders and can serve as a Living Symbol of one’s faith and confidence in Nature’s Power to resurrect and bring life to what seems dead and lifeless. It is said that you will have all the blessings life can bring, if the plant, or a piece of it is kept in the home in a bowl of water.”

A sustaining gift of love. I feel blessed.