Life of a Cactus

I find cacti fascinating. They are tough plants with limited resources. They don’t have everything yet they flourish in the most austere place on earth. They bloom with flowers and produce fruit (Prickly pear/Indian fig), which are used mostly in Mexican cuisine and in some European cuisines.

The fruit of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) are preserved by boiling to produce syrup and by drying. The syrup can also be fermented to produce an alcoholic drink. The bodies of some cacti are prepared and eaten like potatoes in upland Bolivia.The cactus fruit has many other uses. It is used in dye production, cosmetics, water purification, herbal medicine, fodder and as ornamental plants.

In Arabic, the cactus is called صبار ṣubbār; the related term sabr also translates to “patience” or “tenacity”. The allusion is to a thorny, spiky skin on the outside, but a soft, sweet interior, suggesting, though the Israeli sabras are rough on the outside, they are sweet and sensitive once one gets to know them. The cactus is also a symbol of strength and endurance as it is a plant that can really stand up to the test of time and the elements. They are given as gifts when someone is going through a tough time. In some cultures, they are grown to ward away negativities.

Cacti are alien types of plants because of their frightful appearance. But they are great examples of the notion that appearances are deceptive.

I relate to the cactus. As a woman in today’s time, I don’t relate to a pretty, beautiful and fragile flower that is used for decoration and needs to be taken care of. Cacti are independent and self-sufficient. The face harsh surroundings and store their own nutrients. Cacti are not only moody people. They are beautiful.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Be a Cactus!


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Advice from a Cactus: Conserve your resources Be patient through the dry spells Get plenty of sunshine Accentuate your strong points Wait for your time to bloom Stay sharp!

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