(from a letter to Molls)

just left the baby on his blanket with the dogs to babysit and dashed outside with a trowel and a basket to dig up some potatoes for dinner.

Stood over the bed in this light misting rain, staring up into the greysky, listening to the birds.

Rooted around in the rich moist black garden dirt and unearthed a dzen  beautiful purple red potatoes, my first ever harvest of my very own potato crop.  Grew them and harvested them with my ma as a kid, but this is a new sort of satisfaction. I planted them when I was about 38 weeks pregnant and could barely bend over, and for weeks nothing happened.  Figured it was too late in the season to replant, and the boy had been born anyway, and I figured I’d just try again next year.  Then one or two sprouts showed themselves. Then a few weeks later, a few more sprouts.  Then a few weeks later, dozens.  I remembered something I’d heard years ago, about how potatoes harvested at different times will sprout on their own timetable when replanted.  Maybe folklore? maybe practical farm knowledge.  Dunno.  But I spent the summer watching the sprouts grow into 2-foot tall plants from the window in our breakfast nook,  entranced with the idea of potato memory.

And now, harvest.  Even when I could hear the boy hollering inside, I lingered to dig up a few more.  it was just so nice to be doing something nice by myself.

And then I dashed inside and scooped him up off his blanket with my dirty hands and kissed his little teary cheeks and knew that nice things by myself that took longer than harvesting a dozen potatoes could wait till he was a lil bigger. cuz he’s just so dear.

(and the next time i harvested potatoes, I brought him along.)



Filed under autumn weather, Food, Garden, love, memory, motherhood

2 responses to “Potatoes

  1. How true, the part about “nice things by myself… could wait till he was a lil bigger.” Know it well. We test our boundaries & theirs, and follow our wisdom.

    Potato memory. I love this. Starting to see a theme that’s pushing me to think differently about memory. Funny to see it turn up in your garden, and yet unsurprising. And beautiful & comforting.


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