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  • Writer's picturerochelle watt

A Rose That Grew from Concrete...sort of

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love hip-hop. So, it only makes sense that at least one element of my book has a hip-hop reference :)

"A Rose That Grew from Concrete" is an album by rap legend, Tupac, which was originally based on a poem he wrote. The concept behind the poem is that someone/something great can come from the most unlikely places. Against all odds, and when you least expect it, something beautiful can emerge from hardships, chaos, and impossibilities.

I was strolling on a Cuban beach in 2018, trying to capture every angle of a sunset too beautiful for my iPhone camera, when I stumbled upon the cutest little plant. It was hard to miss - an unexpected green drop of hope in a vast sea of beige...a little out of place. Immediately, it reminded me of Tupac's poem. This wasn't a rose growing from the concrete, but the randomness of a shrub in the sand caused me to reflect on the metaphor. Like a good tourist, and artist, I took a photo of this little shrub, believing I might one day need it for something.

After writing all the poems for Eden and deciding on its title, I needed to think about the cover. I have zero design experience and didn't particularly want to hire a cover designer; so, I relied on my years of experience taking neat photos on my phone. I spent some time scrolling through many nature pictures from my travels and adventures, and I knew this little plant was a winner! For a collection of poetry focused on recognizing faith, hope, and love in a world tainted by sin, this lonely plant on the beach reminded me that God is gracious and merciful as we wait for this world to be restored.

A lot of work was still needed to bring the vision to life and turn this photo into a book cover, and I'm overjoyed with how it turned out. When I look at this photo, and when I think of this book, I think about how magnificent God is, how creative He is, and that He has not left us.

"...although perfection perished,

hidden fragments of

faith, hope, and love


on this side of Eden"

- Rochelle Watt

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