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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants Paperback – August 11, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
With deep compassion and graceful prose, botanist and professor of plant ecology Kimmerer (Gathering Moss) encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world. A mesmerizing storyteller, she shares legends from her Potawatomi ancestors to illustrate the culture of gratitude in which we all should live. In such a culture, Everyone knows that gifts will follow the circle of reciprocity and flow back to you again... The grass in the ring is trodden down in a path from gratitude to reciprocity. We dance in a circle, not in a line. Kimmerer recalls the ways that pecans became a symbol of abundance for her ancestors: Feeding guests around the big table recalls the trees' welcome to our ancestors when they were lonesome and tired and so far from home. She reminds readers that we are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep... Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the universe will always come back. (Oct.) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would give it 10 stars if I could.
First, rest assured this is a deeply enjoyable read. Also, this is how any subjects you wish to be understood and loved are best taught: in story.
Robin has mastered storytelling. And, athough she is a relatively new weaver, she seamlessly weaves botany, ancient and modern history, humanities, ecology, linguistics and art. And this weaving is made uniquely beautiful by one long perfect strand that passes through every fiber: love.
Love translates into beauty in form and function, passion and compassion, peace and contentment, respect and gratitude, effort and sweat,
How many times have you found all those (and more) in one book? Reading this book will be an intentional step in the direction of all those things that give life it's purpose.
I found in places that the narrative dragged, and her stories jump from the northeast US to the southeast to the west coast, and though she tried to keep the themes tied together, she wasn't always successful. Despite these flaws, it is still a worthwhile read to get a First Nation's perspective on environmental issues. I would have given it 4.5 stars if I'd had the option, but I just couldn't give it a 5.