Ode to Tables

29 Dec 2018

Among all the pieces of furniture in a traditional Chinese home, great emphasis is placed on the altar table and the dining table. Before they are purchased, measurements and placements have to be carefully considered and discussed.

The altar table is where the family gods and ancestor spirits gather. It basically marks the soul of the house.

The dining table is for meal gatherings and family discussions. If you’re of my vintage, it’s also the place to settle our homework, complete the art project and grow bean sprouts for the science teacher.

2 years ago in 2016 at Street Dog Care in Nepal, a battered and scratched plastic table was witness to our very special gathering among friends of different nations, all united by canine concerns.

Worn out from exposure to the monsoon rains, year end cold and even the 2015 earthquake, the table was retired when Street Dog Care needed to relocate.

I had fond memories of this cracked table but trusted that its spirit of harmony will follow the SDC staff & volunteers to their new home.

On 3 Dec 2018, we visited Street Dog Care in its new location and of course right at the heart of the centre a round plastic table welcomed us, complete with its own live dog display, Tara, the guard dog on it.

After we had placed our animal supplies on it, Tara presided majestically over the goods.

No matter how we coaxed her with words & treats, she refused to come down from the table, but stood guard regally, as if protecting the peace & abundance that the table held.

She finally made way for us briefly to gather around it for tea.

I looked at the mass produced table where supporters and well wishers of Nepal’s street dogs continued to congregate, & felt humbled.

It is common looking and made of plastic, yet its capacity to draw local & international support may be as strong as those that are made of oak & mahogany in the offices of power brokers.

So as we bid goodbye to 2018, and declutter to make room for 2019, we can still ask for the spirit of benevolence in the discarded items to stay, the way the collective goodwill bestowed upon the old mangled table continues to live in the new table at Street Dog Care. šŸ˜Š

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