They both loved to forage. ‘It’s in our genes’, he used to say and, since childhood, they hunted the shoreline for samphire and seaweed, limpets, whelks and periwinkles, things that others ate on a Sunday outing, were daily sustenance for them.
Inland, they foraged in the forest; wild sorrel and garlic, pungent herbs with magic healing powers, forgotten and neglected by all but a few, wisdom handed down through generations.
Then, there were the fungi, hypogeous and epigeous, of which there were many thousands. Some could cure, some sustain, while others kill or disorient. It was another knowledge, received and learned, an arcane art that depended on site and sight, smell and texture, colour and form.
She knew he’d love this broth of the finest wild produce; sea herbs and foraged succulents and, at the centre of it all, a combination of the freshest fungi, pungent and purposeful. ‘Eat it now,’ she told him, as he lay there, just the husk of the man he’d been, ‘while it’s warm and wild, to guide you on your journey, in peace and comfort. It’s your favourite food.’