I am proud to be a woman. The women in my life are strong, true and independent.
My Nan had five children, and she drove a sometimes treacherous school bus route in Methven, she was known for always making sure each child arrived safely at their front door. Although I was young when Nan died, I still have a strong memory of how she always stated her opinion loud and clear. My Gran is a feminist who has strong opinions about women's rights and is a big supporter of women in sports. But Gran holds strong about all things being fair. She wanted to protest against the 1981 Springbok tour, but unfortunately, her commitments to owning and running a grocery store prevented her from doing so. She says not doing it is one of her sorrows. However, during that time the man who sold Smith’s potato chips to Gran’s store wanted the tour to go on and so stopped stocking Smiths potato chips, despite their popularity. My Mum is magic; it is hard to put down in words how I feel about her. She has taught me the meaning of love.
These women are healers, each in their own way. They had their own ways of healing any wounds or aches and pains. But more than anything their love, touch, and company was, and still is healing. This is something I hope to I inherited. I have been lucky to have been raised by women who have not pushed their opinions on me. They have just been themselves, given me room to find my own feet, and to take the turns I have taken to discover my own truth.
That leads me to where I am now. I spend most of my days running tahi skin care, a business I started about two years ago, whilst on my own healing journey. I harvest kawakawa leaves to infuse into almond oil, and use essential oils and plant extracts like manuka, lavender, and harakeke. When I talk to people about tahi, I want them to know that although the ingredients I use can heal the skin, it took a holistic change in me to see the magic happen. I believe an appreciation of, and love for the very thing that is attempting to heal you is fundamental for that healing to take place. When I began this journey I would walk through the forest to observe and appreciate the plants. I felt so much gratitude for them. This is what tahi is about for me. We are all connected and when we become at one with our surroundings and with nature, the healing has begun.
I am due to have my first baby, a little girl, in October. I continue to think about the women in my life as I watch my body change while this baby grows. I think about how they have allowed me to evolve into the woman I am today, with guidance and unconditional love. I feel it is now my responsibility to make sure this child is given the chance to be who it desires to be.
'Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you’
- Kahlil Gibran