Our dining table has been moved many times in the nineteen years we’ve had it, in the larger sense (state to state, house to house) and in the smaller one (within a room). In years past, it was in the front room, at one end or the other, parallel to a side wall or angled to make room for the Christmas tree. It stands in the near center now. My son Colin suggested we move the table there. The table is the gathering point for meals, so why not have it as the focal point of the room?
Colin wanted a more balanced room, so he applied feng shui principles to the furniture placement. After dinner, I helped him move a couple of book cases, the sofa, and a side board. The rug was rolled up for storage, and the table moved to the room’s center, parallel to the long walls of the room. But it didn’t work. In the exact center, it didn’t line up with the front windows. Off center, it didn’t line up with the book cases. No way to center the table that would work for the room as a whole.
Colin looked around for a minute, then moved one end of the table a few inches to the left. No longer aligned with the walls, the angled table brought the room into harmony. A couple of inches brought a sense of movement to the room that I cannot explain. The furniture, windows, and doorways complement each other now, and the space is warm and peaceful.
I experience this complementarity every night at dinner. I feel it now, seated at the table, typing these words on my laptop. Just a matter of angle and inches, no new furniture or construction necessary. It’s a life lesson I continue to learn every day. What I need for a life lived in harmony is at hand – I just need the eyes to see it, and a willingness to adjust accordingly.