Wow. I think this is such an important read for everyone - I have never experienced a more beautiful approach to understanding the natural sciences and the world around us. A synthesis of indigenous plant wisdom, natural science, and metaphor, this collection of essays focuses on restoring our relationship with nature, not through ownership but through reciprocity. It's easy to despair about climate change when we are constantly being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of negative figures, but learning to see the beauty in how other species provide for us can help us appreciate the need to protect other lives, to choose to work at preserving our ecosystems and living sustainably. Although I am saddened over the disconnect that has formed between humans and nature, this book brought me hope and inspiration to bridge the gap. — From Natalie's Picks
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
Named a Best Essay Collection of the Decade by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert). 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.
About the Author
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.