Apples and Oranges

Three Kinds of Fruit“You say I’m mysterious.

Let me explain myself:

In a land of oranges

I am faithful to apples.”

Elsa Gidlow

I discovered this poem over the weekend.  It has been rattling around my head for a few days, so I decided to share it with you and allow you the privilege of having its profound simplicity tangle itself in your thoughts.   Most of my ruminations have been on how the life of a third culture person is very much the life apple faithfulness.  TCKs as well as Third Culture Adults don’t always fit just the way everyone else does.  It’s not that apples are unheard of; it’s that apples aren’t preferred.  In TCK circles we often say it’s a neither/nor life.  It’s a life that’s neither completely of one place nor of the other. If perhaps there were a hybrid fruit that combined the characteristics of an apple and an orange and some totally new species of fruit, TCKs would be well represented by that hybrid.

We also talk of  how TCKs often have an air of mystery around them.  This mysteriousness is often super attractive.  If you ‘ve only lived with oranges, the arrival of an apple is exciting and perhaps unsettling.

I think the genius of this poem is that while there is truth in it for the apple faithful, the greater truth is for the dwellers of the orange land. It is an explanation for them, those who know apples exist but have never understood their crisp flesh,  intoxicating aromas, juicy goodness, and sweet taste.  It is an explanation of a different world.

The more I thought about being faithful to apples, the more the analogy transcended TCK life to the life of a Christian.  We definitely are different (or at least we should be different) in the core of our faithfulness.  We live among oranges while being faithful to apples.  Chew on that for a while.

Photo courtesy of Bewiki

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5 Responses to “Apples and Oranges”

  1. CalebApril 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Gosh, I like being described as having juicy sweetness.
    That was a very good poem, and good insights from it.

  2. LanaApril 6, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Can I be the Gala Apple? I lived up the road from an orchard in BC that had 51 different varieties of apples… How cool is it that we all get to be unique and one of a kind? God is so creative. I’m created in His amazing image so that means I am creative too… I liked the poem, and I am awful fond of you, my dear Apple Sister

  3. SherylApril 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Caleb, I’m so glad it fits you! Thanks for the laugh!

  4. SherylApril 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Ceratinly—the name fits you well! I think I’m more of a McIntosh. I lived near an orchard growing up. I have fond memories of climbing trees and eating apples with my friend whose family owned the orchard. Yesterday I learned there are over 7,5000 varieties of apples. Oranges on the other hand have only 1,000 varieties; it’s still a lot, but not quite the same.

  5. Ginger HuntApril 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    I guess I don’t really think of myself as an orange or an apple, but I know how cool it is to go somewhere where I don’t know anyone, meeting someone who is a Christian, and instantly having a bond. Sweet!

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