Robin Wall Kimmerer uses words in a way that sings, dances and brings joy to the heart. Her book Braiding Sweetgrass takes the reader on a journey through the indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and teachings of plants. For me, this book strung a cord in my heart, for Kimmerer has made such a wonderful connection through stories of spirituality and science.
Elizabeth Gilbert is quoted on the book, stating "A hymm of love to the world."
If you haven't read Braiding Sweetgrass, I will blatantly make this plug to go out and get yourself a copy. If you feel connected to plants, the natural world or even the science of all things, you will enjoy this read.
I would love to incorporate so many quotes from this book, yet Kimmerer's story about the Honorable Harvest shares with us, Hunters and Gatherers, guidelines for "taking another life to support your own."
"The guidelines for the Honorable Harvest are not written down, or even consistently spoken of as a whole- they are reinforced in small acts of daily life. But if you were to list them, they might look something like this:
Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.
introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life.
Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.
Never take the first. Never take the last.
Take only what you need.
Take only which is given.
Never take more than half. Leave some for others.
Harvest in a way that minimizes harm.
Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken.
Give thanks for what you have been given.
Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.
Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever."
—From Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (page 183).