I'm pretty sure I sighed when I walked into her kitchen. Daniel wasn't quite as subtle: "Oh, I feel like I'm walking into a magazine!" he exclaimed. The Rayburn was fired up, there was apple cake on the table, sourdough on the chopping board and, everywhere I turned, there was a little detail that caught my eye. A collection of beautiful, rustic details that had both practical and aesthetic purpose. She had picked apples from her tree the day before and, earlier that morning, stewed them for Poet to eat. Yes, that's right, my baby snacked on Rayburn toast and applesauce - as you do.
While the children played, I watched Michelle make plum jam, stirring the fruit in lemon juice while filtered Tasmanian sunlight poured through the windows. Prayer flags hung just outside the door and washing (all those thick wintry socks) dried on the hills hoist. I sat at the table, mentally noting the rhythm of the home while Daniel and Luisa filmed and photographed.
I adore Michelle. She is beautiful, gentle and wise. She moved to Tasmania with her husband eight years ago, seeking a quieter, simpler life. And she has created just that. I reluctantly left her house that cold, crisp day with an enormous amount of gratitude - it was just so lovely to be invited into her home.
Being in her space, watching her create and witnessing a snippet of her family life really affirmed for me the beauty in simple living. I'm all inspired now, to walk my family down that path of simplicity where the air is cleaner and the food is so much sweeter. Sure, I'd love to move to that country house with the plum trees and apple orchard - right now - but alas, that won't be happening just yet. Once again, I mentally repeat: bloom where you're planted.