Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is an ecologist, trained in the ways of science. Through her botany, she looks at plants through an objective lense, and her vocabulary is full of eutrophication and chloroplasts. But she’s also a poet, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. There she has learned that the natural world is our oldest teacher; that it nurtures us like a mother; that its treasures are given in love and it only asks for gratitude and love in return.
Science does not teach this. To have a wider, worldly consciousness, one must embrace such indigenous wisdom. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer unites her two lenses of knowledge and shows the harmonious relationship humans can have with the land, drawing extensively from her knowledge of botany and Native American and Western Cultures.
From lessons in vegetable gardens to the creation story of Skywoman, Kimmerer guides the reader in a healing and restorative journey. As a teacher, she knows how to phrase something so that one will learn. As a poet, her prose is gorgeous, thoughtful, and introspective. As a mother, as an indigenous person, she knows how to appreciate the gifts of the world and give her own gifts in return. Braiding Sweetgrass is a nonfiction for anyone who wants to nurture a healthier relationship with the world they live in. This gorgeous, well-written book will teach the reader how to to not only listen to the world, but learn from it, and protect it for the years to come.