We have sold nearly 700 copies of the paperback edition of Braiding Sweetgrass in the store, so it's obvious that our customers know and cherish this book. (It may be the most gifted book purchased here.) But it seems worth reiterating Robin Wall Kimmerer's central message: that our relationship with the natural world is reciprocal, and that until we begin to live with that knowledge, we will continue to stumble along, creating chaos and destruction.
As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.