Thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage smell like incantation and secrets let slip from the hard, dry earth. Rituals I don’t know. Demolished kitchens that I will never see. Beliefs I can’t grasp. Hard herbs are echoes from the underworld and from disappeared landscapes that intoxicate and remind me of death. The prickly wooden stems of thyme in modern plastic wrappings on the supermarket shelf whisper the triumph of their survival.