We’ve seen a lot of tables being made around the shop lately. A student just finished her first coffee table and she is beaming with tremendous pride, our river table classes have been a big hit with many being built as gift for others, one big dining room table was just shipped out the woodshop and a second one nearly complete.

River table student

A happy river table student.

Seeing all these table has gotten us thinking about the table’s origin and its value. While the first tables were basically raised stone platforms for keeping valuables off the ground, they have evolved into into a multitude of forms where we gather and organize our things. In fact according to Wikipedia, our concept of “tables” as they relate to math and science comes from the checkered cloths used to cover actual tables in medieval counting houses. Thus it comes from a very concrete realization of information…

Where does our notions of table come from?

Today, tables are still a great place to gather and share our ideas a place where we can organize our thoughts. This Thanksgiving, we may find ourselves gathering around tables with friends and families, perhaps we may include some foreign travelers, or others arriving from away and looking to make a new home.  I hope we all can take a bit of time to reflect about the value and opportunity this exchange can provide.  It will, of course, require listening deeply to others, and working to appreciating the value that comes from a diversity of views and opinions. Let’s welcome others as we’ve been welcomed.

Let’s let the table function as it always has to elevate things we hold dear. Our friends, our family, our community our commonality.

If you want to read a bit more about why gathering around the dinner table is important check out this interview with Michael Heeb. 

Or, maybe if you’re feeling it…and you’d like to spark a conversation about diversity and acceptance. Here’s a great little read about how we might work to combat racism in schools to help get you started.

We hope you will have an excellent celebration, please remember to share if you can…

See you around the shop.

Your friends, at OBP.