Jack sat silently at the family dining table. It had started off many years ago as a smaller, round, wooden-framed table with four matching chairs but had long since been augmented.
The first addition had been an extended and removable table-top which had been crafted from two larger crescent-shaped pieces of wood and connected in the centre with hinges. During gatherings or larger family dinners the larger table top would make an appearance, easily doubling the capacity of the table.
The second addition, almost as a necessity borne from the first, was a home-made Lazy Susan which allowed for easy access to all the food on the table. This wasn’t like the Lazy Susan normally found in the local Chinese restaurants which were usually made of glass on ball-bearings and were often quite difficult to spin. Rather, this home made version wasn’t exactly on-centre but seemed to defy the laws of physics (or at least the laws of Lazy Susan operation) in its ease of operation.
Jack’s father, Michael, joined him at the dining table as Jack spun the empty Lazy Susan around. Michael lightly rested his hand on the Lazy Susan causing it to decelerate and come to a stop. Jack looked up at his father quizzically.
“You know, there are life lessons you can learn from a Lazy Susan,” began Michael as he launched into an impromptu soliloquy. He grabbed a nearby bowl of tomatoes and green capsicums and placed it on the Lazy Susan, spinning it around.
“Lesson number one… what goes around comes around,” as he watched the bowl of vegetables spin around he followed it around with his pointing finger, “come around, go around, come around, go around.”
“Dad, how many lessons are there?” Jack interrupted, realising this could go on for some time.
“Not many,” replied Michael which Jack interpreted to mean: “I don’t know yet, I’m just making them up now.”
“The second lesson is that life needs to be balanced,” he paused to take out the tomatoes and capsicums and spread them evenly around the circumference of the Lazy Susan before spinning it around again. “I think that’s it,” said Michael with a hint of finality and a satisfied nod.
Jack wasn’t exactly sure why, but he enjoyed these small and almost ridiculous moments of Zen. Over the years the lessons had been many and varied. Jack liked to think that he owed much of who he was as a person to his dad’s example through his words but even more so through his actions. Jack, who had been resting his head on his folded arms watched the alternating green and red whiz past him, “Thanks, Dad.”