The Forces of Nature

The book lay on the ground, half read.  It wasn’t a bad book by any means, it was quite good really.  But it had competition tonight and it had lost.  It couldn’t hold the concentration or the imagination tonight.  Something more primeval demanded complete attention.

Fire.

We are drawn to fire, aren’t we?  More so on an early autumn evening when the trees have started their transformation from vibrant green to warming reds and browns and when the evening air has started to cool.  A combination of heat, fuel and oxygen if we were to ask Professor Science about it.  But while that explains fire, it doesn’t really explain fire, or why it draws us in so.  That’s something different.  Warmth and light.  Safety.  We sat and watched the wood burn, watched the flames flicker.

We were camped at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire.  We’d spent the day foraging for wild foods under the expert eye of course tutor Claire.  She’d also been impressing us with information about what was good to try and cultivate in our gardens too. The course had included lunch.  A foraged lunch.  We went prepared with filling snack bars in our bag.  We ate the foraged foods and hand made bread from the centre’s cafe until we were so completely full that the snack bars went uneaten.  The evening’s asado would go uneaten too, at least until it was reheated for tomorrow’s dinner.  Yes, lunch had been satisfying and filling.  Even the foraged apples that we’d planned on stuffing with wild berries and roasting in the fire sat in the van untouched.  We were full to bursting.

Sunday saw us at a Petworth House, a nearby deer park that we seen on one of CampervanCulture‘s videos earlier in the year.   We didn’t bother with the house itself, apart from the cafe and the second hand bookshop (where someone spent all of his pocket money), but the park is large and open, full of glorious old trees and herds of deer that are not at all shy, although not so bold that you can forage for venison…

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