It’s a gorgeous day – a slightly hazy morning here in this vineyard in northern California. I’m sitting on the front steps of a barn, soaking in the early morning sunshine. Roosters are crowing, hens are clucking, a cow is mooing in the distance… it’s very pastoral and idyllic.
I’m on a short break in between interpreting sessions for a health benefits presentation for the Mexican vineyard workers. They tromp into the cold barn in their boots and baseball caps, make a beeline for the box of donuts on the back table, and sprawl out around the room. Some of them have been out in the fields since 2 a.m.
I’ve interpreted for enough injured vineyard workers to know that the work is really hard - the hours are long, they are subject to a number of hazards from accidents to pesticide exposure to harsh working conditions and weather extremes.
I don’t always stop to think of them when I’m sipping my glass of wine in the evening.
It got me thinking. How often do we pause and give thanks for all the invisible labor, the blood, sweat and tears that go into the making of the food on our table, the wine in our glass, the clothes on our backs, the gadgets at our fingertips?
We live in such an incredibly privileged society, and often we take it all oh so much for granted. So I’m taking a moment now to be humbled by my dependence on the hard work of so many men, women and children around the world, and to give thanks for their labor, without which my life would be very different.