“In the country of my imagination, the land runs wide and undulating. Red earth dry in the plains and hills, a deep blue-green in valleys and bottoms, out of the wind where sufficient water, from rain or small rivers, fuels good earth, and a yellow of a gentler sun in the slopes where only some water comes. From the hills in the back of the house in this country, I can look out over this all, barely making out on the horizon the meandering ribbon of fences which I have raised between my land and that beyond, between that which is mind, which is to be held closely, carefully within my palm and over my chest, above my heart, and that for which I have neither responsibility nor love. I have worked this land for a long time now, making it mine.
My wife’s garden is immediately in front of me, between the house and the hill. It is a garden of rose bushes, herb plants and fruit trees. The roses in bloom are huge rectangles within rectangles in deep blood red, red-pink, yellow. The fruits starting to plump in the heart, hang from the tree with growing weight. These things give the wind a sweetness it does not otherwise have as it comes out of the desert. I don’t have anything to do with this garden. Except to eat its fruit, when plucked, washed, prepared and taken out cold from our fridge by my wife. Except to admire the roses, whether on the thorny stalks barely thick enough to hold up their bloom, or as my wide arranges them in the house. In the middle of this land which is my concern and care, this garden is an island I leave to the care of another, and is a place where I take without having sown, admire without having tilled and pruned. All that is asked is that I admire and enjoy, and that I love this woman who is my wife. This garden is the heart of my land.”
― Simon Tay, Stand Alone