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‘Braiding Sweetgrass’: Unique collection of essays looking at the Interdependence of Humans and Plants

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Above: Photo Collage / Lynxotic / Oregon State University Press

Lessons to how we can better listen to the wisdom of plants 

A blend of scientific, indigenous and personal experiences is where author Robin Wall Kimmerer memoir will take readers as she explores the relationship between humans and nature.

Robin’s first book, was also a collection of essays “Gathering Moss“. Her Second will follow suit and dig deeper into the genre while expanding the subject matter by way of a series of personal essays. She is devoted to focusing our attention on restoring ecological communities and humans’ relationship with land.

The view that Natural resources are not unconditionally “given” and should not be viewed as property but instead “gifts” from mother nature is a persistent thread of the narrative.

“I think now that it was a longing to comprehend this language I hear in the woods that led me to science, to learn over the years to speak fluent botany.”

Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer

Kimmerer is a botanist, teacher and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and with that pedigree she is able to write about her lessors from plants, animals and nature from both a scientific and spiritual perspective. 

With her wealth of knowledge she has appeared in many YouTube videos as a guest speaker including below in “Gifts of the Land”.

 We’ve provided a closer look at  Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerers, along with a description, provided courtesy of  Bookshop.org (and the publisher), and added some links for a variety of options where to purchase.

Braiding Sweetgrass:Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers.

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings–asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass–offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.

For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

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