The desert is a vast, arid landscape; a space containing so little, which sees so much.
Attributed with a mystical air that has the power to affect human perception, this intense space has been overflowing with yearning for an eternity. The existence of suburbia in the desert is a truly foreign concept to this life-long Auckland resident.
Opening the door to a backyard of cacti, sweeping sand out of the driveway, passing through faux-Adobe housing estates on the way across town. Reading an abundance of books following teenagers coming of age in this setting has perhaps skewed my vision of such a place, into a region of peyote hunting, fugitive four-wheel getaways, loaded desert endurance tests, backyard swimming pool trespassing missions and secret twilight escapes to freedom.
But how does the act of fencing in a piece of the grand natural landscape change its meaning so absolutely? Psychedelia and gardening.
The wild open expanse and the petite curated plot; one’s vision of the former brings about the latter, showcasing that common human desire to have safe and easy access to a chosen selection of wilderness elements.
A garden is the nature you choose, and keep for yourself. Choose to fall into the garden’s trance; inhale a honeysuckle’s fumes hovering over newly misted grass, or lose yourself in the repetition of turquoise leafy mandalas, sprouting in quiet clusters.
The passage to the wild horizon of the big out there is treacherous and unmarked, but the garden path will never quite lead to freedom.