Fruit on the Bottom

Bennett - Ambler, Pennsylvania
Entered on July 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

I believe in fruit on the bottom. Delicately stacked in the refrigerated section of any given supermarket, this unassuming snack of fruit and yogurt mind-bogglingly stands atop the food pyramid, rigid in the beliefs it represents. Believing in fruit on the bottom is not difficult, it is merely a matter of accepting the necessity of separation and how it must be contrasted with the betterment of integration.

I believe fruit on the bottom is a metaphor for how life should be lived. Separation and layers are always going to be a part of the human condition, one that needs to be addressed to live healthily. Nothing will ever be as it first appears, and everyone will at some point be in need of space. Just as the creamy but plain yogurt protects the true flavor at the bottom of the cup, we often hide some of the most intriguing parts of ourselves from others, as means of protection. Without both our outer and inner selves we are incomplete, but if both were out in the open those with poor intentions would be given an even greater edge. It is a sad necessity, but one that keeps us alive and safe.

Separate layers are far easier to deal with, far easier to assort, far easier to keep organized. You don’t buy fruit on the bottom to eat two separate layers though. Mixing things up keeps us alive. The same daily routine, the same people, the same activities, eventually everything becomes a separate entity. Days become blocks of time in which only specific actions may be performed and where only certain groups are dealt with, that is until some imaginary whistle blows and you move on to your next station. The “daily grind” they call it, a fun name that makes everyone believe it something commonplace and unavoidable. It should be neither. Living to get through the day only gets you to the next day.

The true majesty of fruit on the bottom comes in that epic minute or so of swirling, flipping, spinning, and churning as fruit and yogurt become one glorious flavorful entity. Genuinely feeling alive is such a rare occurrence, that it is one of the few things in life worth chasing. Mixing up your lifestyle, be it who you’re around or what you’re doing, is what makes life interesting. Every unique experience, every powerful memory has come through some change, some breaking of the norm. Like the fruit on the bottom snack though it must be enjoyed and discarded, as overexposure can either be a return to the mundane with less control, or just purely dangerous. Upon completion there is a moment of satisfaction, and then the next cup awaits you, closed and layered once again.