Kicked into the little bonfire and pulled out an hour or so later with a bit of green stick that happened to be left on the ground.
Burned potato skin pulled open with a rusty fork. The same fork that had stirred the curried beans warmed up as a side dish.
Beans curried in a way that I’m sure Mr Heinz couldn’t have intended.
The taste explosive. Like nothing I’d experienced before. We hadn’t been brought up on exotic flavours.
The heat burning. Heat from both temperature and spice.
And here we were, out in the wild. Tasting new things, burning our mouths and our toes, having an adventure.
Sitting on a bit of scrubland round the back of the village pub.
These were the days before youth.
The days before we knew what boys had really been invented for.
The days when the very best thing that a girl could have was an older cousin to supervise what felt like very wild adventures.
The days when we were learning to be together and to belong.
The days when we were learning to become.
I can feel the heat from the fire, the wet grass dampening my jeans.
I can hear the sounds of our laughter and the crackle of the flames, the tearing of the potato skin.
I can remember what it felt like when our only worry was the darkness falling too quickly and not giving us enough time to run home.
I can smell the smoke on our coats lingering for days afterwards.
And I can remember saying “Oh, nothing much” and “Just out with Elizabeth” when they asked us what we’d been up to.
Because, actually, the growing up that we did in those long autumn afternoons was far too much of an adventure for an adult to understand.
I wrote this piece for RemembeRED over at Write on Edge. Our challenge this week was to “…let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.”