This summer season has literally flown by...I actually don't know where the weeks, then months went! It's been my second summer as a māmā, and it's been much more active than the last, with a toddler who loves being outdoors. It's something that is really important to our whānau, to nurture Matatū's love for our taiao. We are really lucky to live in Whāingaroa where we have easy access to the local ngahere (bush), tatahi (beach) and manga (streams).
The past 9 months has been a juggle with part-time mahi at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, māmā life and keeping Hau Botanicals going, sometimes I really have no idea what day it is. Hau Botanicals definitely got put on the back burner a bit. I always like to harvest and create when I know I am able to give full attention and aroha to what I am doing. And often I was just too tired. I'm sure any working māmā can relate! But things seem to be shifting a bit and I now have some small goals which are coming to fruition (including this blog post!), which is always encouraging.
A few weeks ago, I took Matatū down to Te Waipõunamu with me for a week long holiday. It was exactly the wairua top-up that I needed. The first achievement was making it to Christchurch in one piece, with my arms in tact after hauling all our bags, the pram and child-carrier backpack. What a mission. Our first morning I had the absolute pleasure of having breakfast with Kristy from Aho Creative, and her lovely girls. We just chatted life and business, like we were old mates, only we had just met. I just love chatting to people who are grounded in their values and on a similar kaupapa, and it gave me the reinvigoration I so needed!
Then, we headed inland to stay with my sister, Moana, who is another amazing wahine, grounded in her values and living a very inspiring life. I miss not having her closer, and being able to have a cuppa and a biscuit together. Her life is based around her passion for hunting, and I can listen to her stories for hours. She took us on some epic adventures! We bounced up river beds in her truck, and I just had my mouth gaping from all the beautiful scenery and majestic maunga. We stayed a night in an alpine hut, which was so fun (aside from the guys snoring and farting all night) and hopefully it was a first of many. Matatū was an absolute legend and loved her time in the backpack, learning new words and bird calls. We saw glaciers, ate lots of tōtara and coprosma berries, took in the fresh mountain air and tapped out of our usual routine for a bit. I soooo needed it, and have come home feeling less fragmented.
This summer, the plants have had fewer flowers and fruit. I'm not surprised after the abundance we saw last year. The pīpīwharauroa seemed to arrive a bit later in Spring than usual, and we definitely haven't had the same droughts we experienced in the past two summers. The plants have been healthy and lush, and not affected by disease and pests like they were last year. It's been the first summer in years that I have been able to harvest through the warmer months. Even though it was at a reduced volume, it meant that I could have oils on the go, without huge gaps in the steeping process. Everything seemed to have been turned down a notch, and I have felt like that in my own life too. The need to pull back on everything and have some space to just be.
I have also been working on a new product in the background. It's a slightly different direction from what I currently create, but something I use almost daily and wish I had a low-waste, skin nourishing option. So watch this space! I don't do markets or many events, so I am also thinking of hosting an event locally. The thought of hosting parties or get togethers has always made me super nervous...what if no-one comes? But I think I need to get over that fear, because connecting with you all gives me the best vibes! It makes my day when I get messages or emails about your positive experiences with Hau Botanicals. So again, watch this space. People on the email list will get hear first about the new product and get first dibs on spaces at the event. You can sign up to the newsletter via my website. Stay safe and well as we head towards the cooler months and Matariki.