... Let it go. If it comes back to you, it is yours to eat.
Oh man, am I going to eat some potatoes.
You see, prior to our evacuating Fencebroke Promontory on the crest of the Great Washing-Machine Flood of 2015, I had tearfully released several seed potatoes into the wild.
“Go! Be free,” I said. “This backyard life will soon chafe your russet skin. Go see the world; visit Idaho. Get out there and make something of yourself.” And then I shut the door and wept.
I've always wanted to grow potatoes.
With time I came to terms with my loss. I told myself every morning that those fingerlings and reds would be happier, better tubers out there on their own than if they set root in my humble garden. I never fully believed this, but with repetition it took on the soothing cadence of a mantra, and I was able to move on.
However, just in case my prodigal spuds ever returned, I built a home for them: a potato house. This would be a place to call their own, apart from the sunup-sundown brawl of the vegetable garden, where they could stretch towards the sun and have soil heaped upon them, the better to start a family of tender new potatoes.
Even as I cut the cedar boards, I knew this was just a dream. The potato house would be nothing but a sad memorial for the starchy little ones I let go. But I couldn't stop, and soon the house was complete and soon after that we were forced to abandon Fencebroke.
Weeks passed. And then, some untold time and countless omelets later, when we got the “all-clear” to return, and when I had almost forgotten ever slapping together that ridiculous, hopeless shrine in the first place, I came home and saw this:
And once more, I wept.
The potatoes, they came back!