I love mushrooms. Porcini and shitake, enoki, swiss browns, the huge pine mushrooms you can coat in oil and spices and bbq like a burger, oyster mushrooms and the common and garden (though I would never harvest garden ones) mushrooms that I buy and use every week. Truffles too! I still remember a truffle pizza we ate in Spoleto in 1993 and an omelette with shaved black truffle in Gubbio the same trip. I have yet to taste a white truffle but if it’s exotic and yummy, I will search it out (this blog is not called “Food from Afar” in vain) so I will get to try one sometime.
I currently own three F.W. Boreham books. Two I have in my possession, one is on its way from ebay, and one I will be sending on when I have digested it. A writer friend of mine, Steven Clark Goad, introduced me to Boreham. He reads them, like Ravi Zacharias does, a chapter a day. He collects them too, first editions if possible. My first Boreham – “Wisps of Wildfire” – is a first edition. I just missed out on a first edition of “A Bunch of Everlastings” on ebay a week or two ago because it went too high – A$34. Silly me. Paperbacks cost that!
“Mushrooms on the Moor” is not a first edition but it is an 1930 (year my mom was born!) elegant pocket edition. It is compact and sleek and a comfortable size and I love the way it fits in my hand and into my handbag to be taken with me so I can read it while I wait to pick up my daughter. “Wisps of Wildfire” sits on the edge of my bath and gets dipped into (but it has stayed dry!) most mornings (the days I have to rush and shower instead are Boreham-deprived.)
Why do I relish reading Boreham? Why does he feed my soul?
His writing celebrates the ordinary but he sees in the everyday and the mundane (envelopes, a collar stud, parcels) connections to and metaphors for the sublime and the divine. He has an uncanny knack of perceiving truth and delivering a lesson in the most elegant manner. His first book dates back to 1891, six years before my grandfather was born, and his last was published in 1961, after my birth and his death, but his truths are timeless.
Boreham is spiritual food from afar. He was first published the century before last. He emigrated from England to the Antipodes (he preached in New Zealand, Tasmania and Melbourne) but although that makes him “local” to me, he is almost unknown here in Australia now. I learned of him via my friend in California. How global is that?
Of course, I may have just spoiled my chances of winning Borehams on ebay if anyone else is inspired to read him too. Oh well. I just can’t NOT share Boreham. (yes, that’s a grammatical rule I broke but it’s MY blog!)