Flax Flowers & Family – It’s About Heart
Mother's Day is coming up, and I am almost knee deep in flax preparing to make flax flowers as gifts. Mother's Day is one of the busiest times for the Artiflax workshop.
This forced me to stop and think for a moment. Mothers have heart. Mothers are givers. They give from the time you are born.
What’s not right is that we come to expect that giving.
One of the reasons I was drawn to art and creation – of flax flowers, flax art and other fabulous things, was because of my strong family ties & heritage. I’m not sure where I would be today without my mama-bear: the reason I am in the place I am.
At an early age, I was outdoors, in amongst it, a true blue kiwi girl (or should that be true "green" kiwi girl). I have a fantastic relationship with Harakeke, beginning in my early twenties when I was taught to flax-weave in Matamata. Now here I am back living in the Waikato, surrounding my children with the beauty of Harakeke and flax flowers.
The power of Harakeke, both in Maori folklore and spiritually, made me understand my mixed ancestry which includes being of Maori descent.
The Harakeke (flax) plant represents the whanau (family) in Maori tradition. The Rito or flax shoot – young and tender – is the child, protected by surrounding leaves called the awhi rito (the parents). The stronger, still broad, outer leaves are the tupuna (the grandparents and the ancestors).
Like the leaves of the flax bush, the family becomes interdependent. The young grow up feeling protected, mature and in turn, care for the older whanau members. All members of the whanau travel harmoniously together through a never ending cycle of interdependent relationships. That is how it should be – forever into eternity.
In this way, we feel part of a stronger unit. Protected. Accepted.
The Harakeke strongly resembles the multi-generational family unit. How it was intended to be.
I am currently in preparation for the influx of Flax Flower orders for Mother's Day. Thinking about how a bouquet that stays beautiful for such a long time, and is such an appropriate gift (a gift with heart), made me think I should try making a heart-shaped flax rose! It feels right, and it looks stunning. What's more, you are saying something with your Mother's Day gift. I call them the "Forever in my Heart Flower" - because they last and carry happy memories into the future. They just do!
The Forever in my Heart Flower is now a thing.
I love creating beautiful things for families to enjoy. I love the participation of being in the chain of giving. It is with my heart that I work on the pieces I create.
Flax and families – it’s all about heart.