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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