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Celebrating Labor Day from a ‘different perspective’

During Labor Day, Sister Donna Butler thought about many things, including the trees.

During Labor Day, Sister Donna Butler thought about many things, including the trees.

This year, I thought about Labor Day in a way I never have before. As usual, I thanked God for the meaningful work I have been able to do throughout my life. As usual, I also reflected on those less privileged. There are so many justice issues that come to mind in regard to workers’ rights. I’m thankful for all the workers who share their gifts and talents here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

So what was different this year?

For the first time ever on this particular holiday, I thought about the many workers we never mention on this day. I thought of the honeybees that play a major role in one-third of our diet. I thought of the worms that do the behind-the-scenes work, crawling through the ground creating oxygen in the soil.

There are the trees that provide oxygen, shade, food and beauty. They also protect the water supply, prevent soil erosion and provide shelter for humans and animals.

I read an article called, “Bathing in the Forest,” that was not about water. It explained how taking in the sensual experience of a forest impacts our bodies “NK” (natural killer) cells that improve the immune system and prevent disease.

I read about the Rainforest and how essential it is to survival of the ecosystem that sustains the web of life.

This list could go on and on, so this year I celebrated all the often taken-for-granted workers of the universe.

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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