Once a week I can tell what day it is even without looking. As I sit early in the morning in my time of silence and meditation, I hear it. The growling in the far off distance. Then it gets closer. Banging gets louder. Oh, yes, it is Monday. The big blue garbage truck is slowly, methodically making its way around the neighborhood.

And each time I hear it, up from the silence I utter a “thank you”. Here is a truck with a person in it, in 100 degree heat or in sub-zero winter, driving by and picking up our garbage. Here is a person who faithfully comes by and takes away that which I have determined to be trash.

Now, this job isn’t one of the glamor jobs that people generally hope for when they are in high school on career day. Seldom do people like this come to the class room and tout the glory of stopping in front of each house, getting out of the truck and emptying the multiple cans of garbage that belongs to other people.

And yet, I give thanks because I count on it. I depend on someone coming and helping me keep some order in the house. I appreciate that someone faithfully comes by and gets rid of the left-overs of my life. (Even as I say this I am aware of my experience in poor countries of the world where there is no such thing as trash. Everything has value because there is so little. We in the part of the world in which I live are creating a problem for the planet because we have so much left-over.  But, this is another blog for another day.)

As I meditate each Monday, I know what day it is by the growling and banging in the neighborhood. And on this Labor Day weekend, I am grateful for the labor of those who are not celebrated but on whom much of my life’s comfort depends.