Bright Things #2: Housewarming Broom

One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.

From the moment I first passed by the window of the Granville Island Broom Company, I wanted one of their gorgeous handmade brooms. It seemed a frivolous purchase and out of my budget, so I always kept walking, but in the back of my mind I’d think, one day. It would be a housewarming gift to myself.

I’ve moved 17 times as an adult, approximately every two years. All these moves were by choice: for school or jobs, for the adventure. The arrival of my daughter created a change in me. I found myself longing for a sense of place. I wanted to put down roots.

Since my husband and I are prone to spontaneous major life choices, we started by moving cross-country to the east coast of Canada, where housing was cheap, and where I was desperately unhappy and homesick. So back to Vancouver after two years, where we eventually ended up renting the main floor of a house that made us miserable for a myriad of reasons which can mostly be categorized under “bad landlord.”

With rental prices skyrocketing and a child settled happily in her school, we found ourselves for the first time feeling stuck. For five years we searched for a better place to live and found nothing.

Then, a year and a half ago, we got lucky. We found a place that checked all the boxes. It’s affordable, we have long-term security, and we love our community and our neighbours. We’re going to stay here, maybe for good.

So on a sunny spring morning, once we were mostly unpacked, my husband and I walked to Granville Island and picked out our housewarming broom. It was a splurge for sure, but it brings me such joy. Too beautiful to hide in a closet, I hung it on the wall at the entrance of our kitchen so I can see it every day, and remind myself: We are here. We are home.

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