It’s time to make cider on our farm. I climb the apple trees, and shake the branches to tumble the fruit for harvest. But they don’t fall from an even rhythm. It’s the changes in rhythm that breaks the stem and drops the apple.
Sometimes we get into routines and ruts in our families when everything seems to have come to a standstill. There’s no sweetness, only a whole lot of waiting and a whole lot of work, but precious little to feed ourselves from.
If we stay with the same family rhythms, life feels deadbeat. It’s when we add syncopation and do something offbeat that something new falls into our laps.
Whenever your family life feels fruitless, make a change, any change, to your entrenched routines. It doesn’t matter how absurd it might seem. Get up at two in the morning and have a family excursion under the full moon. Skip a day of school and learn what happens. Paint everyone’s nails apple red and purple to celebrate everything in life that’s off colour.
Whatever you do, make it jarring. It’s the only way to make the apples fall.
(for more on the role of rhythm, song, and absurdity in getting out of ruts and vicious circles and bringing more joy to our lives, see the work of Hillary and Brad Keeney at sacredecstatics.com)