by Robin Wall Kimmerer
RIWPS members who would like to read and discuss Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, may register below for the Winter Book Group, which will meet this year on Sunday, February 10, from 3 to 5 p.m., at a member’s home in Warren, RI. Snow date, Sunday, February 17, same time and place. Light refreshments will be served.
As a botanist and member of the Citizens Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer combines science and the ancient knowledge of her people to suggest ways to heal the earth. She tells the creation story of Skywoman tumbling through a hole in the sky, she speaks of the gift of sweetgrass, or “wiingaashk, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth,” which must be passed from hand to hand, never sold. A metaphor for sharing and reciprocity, rather than taking from the earth and others, sweetgrass calls for a radical shift in consciousness.
As a Potawatomi, Kimmerer considers plants and animals her teachers; she was listening to the trees long before scientists discovered how they communicate through pheromones and micorrhizae, a vast symbiosis of fungi and roots beneath the forest floor. Braiding Sweetgrass is wonderfully complex and beautifully written and offers rich discussion for plant lovers worried about the earth’s future.
Participants will receive a list of ideas for discussion a week before the meeting, as well as the specific location of the meeting, with directions and contact information.