Braiding Sweetgrass

You are the firekeeper

"Okay–what are the other kinds of fire?" my father asks as he adds a stick to the fire at his feet… "There’s a fire you must tend to every day. The hardest one to take care of is the one right here" he says, tapping his finger against his chest. "Your own fire, your spirit. We all carry a piece of that sacred fire within us. We have to honor it and care for it. You are the firekeeper."

~ from BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Why is the world so beautiful?

I chose botany because I wanted to learn about why asters and goldenrod looked so beautiful together... Why is the world so beautiful? It could so easily be otherwise: flowers could be ugly to us and still fulfill their own purpose. But they're not... Goldenrods and asters appear very similarly to bee eyes and human eyes. We both think they're beautiful. Their striking contrast when they grow together makes them the most attractive target in the whole meadow, a beacon for bees. Growing together, both receive more pollinator visits than they would if they were growing alone... That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beauty of one is illuminated by the radiance of the other... When I am in their presence, their beauty asks me for reciprocity, to be the complementary color, to make something beautiful in response.

~ from BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A giveaay for Mother Earth

The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken. It's our turn now, long overdue. Let us hold a giveaway for Mother Earth, spread our blankets out for her and pile them high with gifts of our own making. Imagine the books, the paintings, the poems, the clever machines, the compassionate acts, the transcendent ideas, the perfect tools. The fierce defense of all that has been given. Gifts of mind, hands, heart, voice, and vision all offered up on behalf of the earth. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world. In return for the privilege of breath.

~ from BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer
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