Peggy has spent much of her reading time lately dwelling on the natural world. Fungi, owls, the collected works of Diane Ackerman - she's been digging deep into nature writing. But the book that has affected her the most, and the one she has mentioned I need to pick up every time we talk, is Braiding Sweetgrass.
Today marks the release of a gorgeous new gift edition of Braiding Sweetgrass. Beautifully bound with a new cover featuring an engraving by Tony Drehfal, this edition includes a bookmark ribbon, a deckled edge, and five brilliantly colored illustrations by artist Nate Christopherson; this is a book you are going to want to gift - either to yourself or those you love. Here's what Peggy has to say about Braiding Sweetgrass:
Robin Wall Kimmerer opens this book of treasures with the creation story of Star Woman, a story which embodies every element of the indigenous wisdom that is woven throughout the rest of her celebration of our kindred world.
Sweetgrass (ah, how Kimmerer makes you want to smell and feel it!) is a sacred ceremonial plant, offering two gifts from Mother Earth, one spiritual and the other practical. Spiritual because the smell is a soothing medicine inducing a sense of remembrance and reverence; practical because its weaving makes beautiful baskets.
Through her marriage of science and indigenous knowledge (not achieved without ongoing work), Kimmerer teaches her students and us the philosophy of the Honorable Harvest. Taking gifts from the “more-than-human world” creates a responsibility for reciprocity. What can we give back? What is enough? At the least, the gifts we humans can offer is gratitude, stewardship, and “a relationship of loving respect and mutual caregiving.”
Kimmerer offers us a way to look back to our ancestral kinship with “other” lives and a way forward to respect and intimacy with our brother species.
During this period of unwanted isolation, Braiding Sweetgrass has given me solace and allowed me to renew my spirit through her gift. Now it is my responsibility to determine what I can give to one of my species, which now includes all living as well as non-living beings.
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub
A Book Riot "Favorite Summer Read of 2020"
A Food Tank Fall 2020 Reading Recommendation