Last night we watched the film ‘The Cider House Rules’. It was beautiful. I love films that make you question and consider life, and try to simplify the meaning of it all. If you haven’t seen the film, a young boy Homer is born in an orphanage which is run and managed by a doctor. He’s placed with two families and returned each time – so the doctor treats him as his own and teaches his his trade – medicine. When he grows older a couple come to the orphanage for an abortion (which is illegal at the time). They stay for a few days and tell him about the World beyond the orphanage and he hitches a ride with them, to go and work in apple fields beside the ocean – which he’d never seen. Thats a pretty unimaginative summary and i won’t spoil the rest of the film – you should watch it – my blog post couldn’t possibly do it justice. It’s the concept of apple fields and I want to talk you about.
Life is hectic. For me – in amongst waking up before six, getting the train, writing my blog post, working, getting the train home, making dinner, eating dinner and publishing my blog post – plus keeping up with friends and family – there’s not much time for anything else. Barely a few minutes to stop and consider whether or not what I’m doing is right. Sometimes you just go through the motions and promise to consider it all another day. This is why I believe that sometimes – we should all find our own apple orchards. We should all strip life back and learn to remember what’s important. Picking apples, the simplest job, gave Homer the time and space to find us ‘usefulness’ in life. He got to be with nature, see things grow and be ‘at one’ with himself. As much as I love my job – I don’t actually know if its my ‘useful contribution’ to the World yet – and I don’t think I’ll ever know this until I’ve spent time in my cider fields. Whatever they may be.
I feel like the boy in the orphanage – I haven’t had parents any of my adult life and I’ve had little input or guidance. Sometimes I just want to go picking apples for a while…
O.K, so I don’t literally want to go picking apples in a cider fields… that’s just a metaphor. What I do want is to find my own version of Homer’s cider fields. I’m looking hard – if it’s right in front of me, I haven’t seen it yet!