Hello, fellow book enthusiasts! I’m thrilled to welcome you to our month-long community book read. Our chosen book is the beautiful and thought-provoking “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. You can purchase the adult or young adult versions. This book is a special gift for anyone even slightly curious about understanding our land and cultivating a healthy relationship with the environment that nurtures us daily.
“Braiding Sweetgrass” teaches us that the exhaustion of ecological resources isn’t an issue to be compartmentalized or deferred to some distant group of scientists. It’s a responsibility that we all share. The book urges us to deepen our understanding of the land we inhabit, acknowledging its beauty beyond a blooming tree or a manicured lawn.
But how do we start exploring our personal relationship with nature? How can we nurture this bond if we lack understanding, the ability to listen, and the initiative to give back to the natural world? Thankfully, “Braiding Sweetgrass” offers a wealth of resources to guide us through these questions, leaving us with a sense of hope rather than paralyzing fear.
Dr. Kimmerer invites us to view our surroundings through a fresh lens, one that we probably should have adopted long ago. Her vivid metaphors ignite emotions, making each chapter a stepping stone towards reconnecting with our backyard, apartment garden, or any greenspace around us. She challenges us to rethink our perceptions of the natural world and our relationships with our communities, revealing their intricate interconnectedness.
To accompany you on this reading journey, Dr. Kelly has designed discussion questions for each section and chapter of “Braiding Sweetgrass.” These questions will serve as your weekly guideposts, allowing you to read at your own pace. You can tackle these questions individually or collectively, depending on what suits you best.
Dr Kelly will post a blog each week on our website with questions. You are invited to join us on our Facebook page each week to share your thoughts and insights through this extraordinary book or keep a journal and join us at the end of the community book read. Dr. Kelly is excited to learn from your perspectives and deepen our collective understanding of our relationship with nature.
So, let’s set sail on this enlightening journey together! Read what you can and join in the discussions. We will gather together on zoom at the end of our month-long book read. Happy reading
What is a community book read? Read at your own pace. Each week we will engage you online with though provoking questions and blog posts. Keep a journal and answer the questions, or make comments under our Facebook posts each week. And at the end of our month, join us online for a conversation!
Why Braiding Sweetgrass? “Braiding Sweetgrass” explores our relationships with the environment and highlights how science and Indigenous teachings can intersect. Dr. Kimmerer uses metaphors and storytelling to leave a lasting impression, urging us to think differently. The book asks us to consider how we can give back to Earth in a sustainable way, show love for our environment despite our misuse of its resources, and work towards healing our natural world before it’s too late.
What if I fall behind? That’s ok! This is a go at your own pace book read. The questions will help engage you when you are ready.
WEEK 1 Questions: Planting Sweetgrass
- What creates a strong relationship between people and Earth?
The Council of Pecans
- How do you feel community strength relates to our treatment of the environment? What are ways we can improve this relationship?
The Gift of Strawberries
- How did this change or reinforce your understanding of gifts and gift-giving?
- How do you show gratitude in your daily life?
Asters and Goldenrod
- How can our world benefit from Indigenous Teachings?
- Learning the Grammar of Animacy