This morning the sky was a bright overcast, a perfect time for poking around the yard and taking pictures of small things. The flowers are definitely past their best, but there are a few bright spots here and there.
Perky Black-eyed Susans,
Asters, those stars of fall,
and bright wands of Goldenrod.
In the United States, today is Labor Day, which Wikipedia defines as “a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.”
I think of my Franco-American ancestors—potato farmers and factory workers—mocked and derided for being “dumb Frenchman.” In truth, these “dumb Frenchman” did much of the hard, back-breaking labor that kept Maine going. Why weren’t they respected for the work they did? Even today, the contributions of Franco-Americans are seldom acknowledged.
If we cast the circle wider to encompass other ethnic groups and workers—the ones who pick our crops, the ones who work in stores, the ones who bravely go forth during this pandemic so that we can eat and have the necessities of life—we see that the same sort of disrespect is extended to them. Somehow these workers are so lowly that they do not deserve a decent wage, health care, or affordable housing and transportation.
To borrow from my blogging friends across the pond, rubbish! Covid-19 has revealed exactly who is essential and who is not.
So on this Labor Day, and indeed on every other day, let’s honor the men and women who work so hard and get so little. And, maybe, just maybe, we can think about what we, as a society, can do to make their lives a little more comfortable.
And then put those thoughts into actions.