5 March 2021
The pot of desert rose plant I brought home on 1st February is in full bloom.
A month ago, to manage my expectations, the seller told me that desert rose plants are hardy but their flowering depend on other factors.
I assured her I would be grateful if it survived my care. The flowering would be a bonus. I paid her $18, carried the pot and made the short walk home.
Except for the knowledge from google , I have little experience in desert rose care.
So even when it started budding around mid-February, I didn’t dare expect too much for fear of disappointment.
And bud by bud, the desert rose came.
The whole experience has given me the chance to face my fear of disappointments and living things dying on me.
While searching for a quote to honour this plant’s teaching, I came across catholic writer, Henri Nouwen’s writing on the discipline of being surprised by joy.
After reading his thoughts I realised in bracing myself for disappointments and suffering, I have forgotten about joy! And being joyful is as much an effort as being able to handle pain.
I shall close this post with Nouwen’s quote in full to do justice to the man’s profundity and the desert rose’s inspirations within a month of being with me.
“Learn the discipline of being surprised not by suffering but by joy. As we grow old . . . there is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a suffering that will continue to tempt us to think that we have chosen the wrong road. . . . But don’t be surprised by pain. Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.” – Henry Nouwen