wood fire & pine needles

A sweet and delicious essay by my young grandmother; the writer's note at the end is hers, not mine.
We were up early that morning, I remember, you and I. The dew was still on the grass as we set out, gayly splashing through the fields in our high boots and knickers. You were so much taller and you could walk so much faster than I, but I did my best to match my steps to yours. I wanted you to be proud of me that day. Even then I knew you thought of me only as your younger sister--a good kid to walk with and to tell things to. Perhaps you sometimes suspected a part of my blind adoration for your quaint, individual little phrases and for your boyishly honest, lovable self. But that day we hiked together is the only one I can truly call ours alone.

The world seemed deserted of all human kind save we two. As we neared the foothills, the haze around their summits gradually lifted and the last faint star disappeared as the new, bright sun came up. Away in the distance we could hear the shrill crowing of a cock greeting the sun. The crisp, cool air blew the scent of pines and late April violets into our nostrils. The combination of the air, the morning, and our naturally healthy constitutions soon filled us with growing hunger pains. I shall never forget, nor will you, I know, the eagerness with which we swallowed the bacon and eggs, rolls and jam that you had carried in your knapsack. Never since have I tasted bacon so delicious as that, cooked unsanitarily over our smoky wood fire and eaten as we sat exhausted on a slippery, jaggy, uncomfortable carpet of pine needles. Every time I suddenly catch the aroma of a wood fire or pine needles, I have a startling vision of you as you sat opposite me with your light hair carelessly rumpled and your red-brown eyes shining in the firelight.

You talked to me of her that morning, and I was unsympathetic, wasn't I? I understood, you see, for I felt the same way about you--then. No matter what has happened since, no matter what may happen later, that day is torn out of the world's record of us both--it belongs only to you and me.
(This was supposed to have been an emotion expressed as I really felt it then, but it seems to have turned out to be a great deal of mush, rather badly cooked. A.G.)