Kimberley Debus, author of the blog “Farfringe.com”, communicated with the author of this hymn, Mary Grigolia, and was given this lovely origin of Hymn 396:
“I wrote this song when I was in seminary, taking a class on death and dying. Our assignment was to write our eulogy. I thought and thought of what to say, what not to say. And decided that as a songwriter, I needed to say it in music.
“After I decided I would write a song for my project/paper, I set the perfect ambiance: prepared a tray with journal and pen, tea and healthy snacks, went outside into the perfect afternoon, to sit under the Meyer lemon tree in my back yard, ready for and courting inspiration. I spent several hours journaling and grateful for the beauty of the afternoon. And no music came. None. Not a note. And I realized the hubris of the ego saying it would write the song. Scooping up everything, accepting the folly of my presumption, as I was balancing the tray, coming through the door (yes, a literally liminal experience), I realized I was singing something under my breath. And it was the whole round. Complete.
“What I take from the experience is the great responsiveness of the Universe/Spirit/Deep and Creative Self, when we allow ourselves to be present, to listen, to sing along, but not to assume we can control its scope or view.
“I Know This Rose is the answer to my invitation (to the deep Self). The way I hear/feel it, I am the rose; opening is in my nature. Even when it comes time to let go of this body practice, I know this rose will open.
“And although I may feel afraid of the changes, afraid of the unknown I can’t control, afraid of allowing the ego to follow the calling of something deeper, I know those fears will burn away (in the fire of transformation, this very physical practice of loving and living and letting go).
“And as my fear burns away, I know, I trust that the wings of my heart, my soul, will unfurl their (my) wings.
“Yes, I know this rose will open. I am the rose. We are all the rose. Opening.
“May we all trust in the opening!”
YouTube link: I Know This Rose Will Open