I want to show you something true and beautiful in my life.
Operation Hejira has given me the chance to winnow down what I carry with me. The objects that remain are totems infused with meaning, and I’d love to share their stories with you.
My mother-in-law, Boukje, gave us an unusual but treasured Christmas gift last year ~ a brightly-coloured dish brush that she assured us was practically indestructible. She’d discovered it through a friend and gone to the trouble of getting one for each of her children, all the way from the Netherlands.
Boukje was a little bashful when she gave us this gift and the explanation behind it. I think she worried that we would think it a small or insignificant present. She needn’t have been concerned, though ~ Shawn does most of the dishes in our family and he knows the value of a good quality brush.
There is such pleasure in tools that work marvelously, especially when you need them several times a day. This brush has strong bristles that haven’t lost their stiffness over a year of constant use. It scours pots and plates alike with a brisk ease. The head has an edge built in for scraping off stubborn food, and the handle is comfortable to hold.
And look at the colours! My favourite turquoise-and-red combination, so bold in a humble domestic utensil. Yes, you may be up to your elbows in soapy water, but we can still get funky!
Before we left Ottawa, Boukje asked whether we would take the dish brush with us. I love how important it was to her and how she had the boldness to ask. Little did she know that it was already on my list of kitchen essentials, along with a pair of rubber gloves and a tiny scraper from Lee Valley.
Having let go of most of our other familiar belongings, these few that we keep are all the more precious: touchstones of constancy in a new place and time.
This brush is a daily reminder that we are loved and we have everything we need.
This post is the last Truth and Beauty Totem for now ~ I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my suitcase. I have a new series planned for next week, something more interactive and still playful. So watch for that!