I have to admit, before this year, Ito and I were never much of homebodies. We always loved traveling, exploring other countries or visiting different local islands, but these days spending more time at home really forced a change of pace for us. And it isn’t just us. For the majority, the quarantine brought about a slowing down, not only of the frenetic way we lived our life, but also of the instant gratification we had all gotten used to.

At the start of lockdown (click here to read my first blog post, “When Time Stood Still”), our help and I began a small vegetable scrap ‘farm’ from our kitchen leftovers as a way to better utilise our time. Growing plants from scraps and cuttings was something I never had the inclination for before, but now I enjoyed watching their progress daily. I would head out to the garden as soon as I woke up and look out for new leaves, and every tiny blade or bud would give me so much joy 🙂

What I loved most was the unhurried pace at which nature worked and the way the smallest cuttings would take root on their own and just grow. Our friendly neighbourhood gardener also gave us some seeds (pods of the butterfly pea vine) which we planted, and while these took longer to grow–first sprouting a few leaves from the ground, then slowly creeping upwards before unfurling and trailing along our makeshift trellis, then finally showing its first blossom–it was extremely satisfying. Not to mention inspiring!

Soon more flowers began to appear and we started picking them everyday to make blue tisanes (herbal tea). We also tried butterfly pea blossoms ‘pink lemonade’, steeping the flowers in boiling water and making it naturally pink by pouring in lemon juice with water and adding honey (see the video above).

The color was just sooo pretty (and we could play with varying shades of pink, lavender or a deeper violet depending on how much lemon and water we mixed in)! I loved the watercolor wash shades so much that it inspired some abstract pattern paintings of nature (along with a future collection of playsuits and lounge wear that I dreamed up). How wonderful if things always flowed that easily and organically! 🙂

Learning the ways and timing of nature are all still new to me, to be honest, and I still don’t know where this is heading. But I do know that ideas can spring from anywhere, and as we all search for new ways forward in this challenging time, maybe planting and nurturing small seeds of inspiration is the way to go. What do you think??? 🙂

*Photos by Ito Ocampo

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