Book: Braiding Sweetgrass

I’ve been putting off writing about this book because it’s just so wonderful I feel I cannot do it justice. But it’s been long enough.

In many ways, this book is about Transition. It’s about how we connect to and heal the world by seeing it/them and each other as beings. It includes so many beautiful histories and knowledge and perspectives that make me want to be her student.

The book is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Like the book "Lab girl" – this book is about plants and their connections. It also beautifully parallels my own scientific background – I started in a plant science lab, making a small contribution to a finding that plants send out signals when they are hurt.

There is also the language: animate vs inanimate. We should be personalizing nature, but instead we offer personhood to corporations…

Some ideas of things I took away from this book early on:

– Give gifts that are handmade – not bought or found
– There’s no obligation – gifts are freely offered without obligation
– See that nature’s creations are also gifts – because they are gifts, we are gentle with them, and they stay abundant (don’t sell these sacred gifts either)

– Sacred rituals of offering the first coffee of the day to the ground – like the Hindu ritual of pariseshanam, honoring the earth for its gifts of food "That, i think, is the power of ceremony: it marries the mundane to the sacred."

– Maple trees – gifts are given from nature, but we, too, have a lot of responsibility

It reminds me of the time I tried to collect pine nuts. They were given, but took SO MUCH WORK to get!

Overall, an amazing, life-changing book I highly recommend for any scientist, anyone who wants to live a little closer to the planet, and anyone who wants to connect more to their own past.

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