Braiding Sweetgrass: Lessons on living well

I’ve been away from the blog for quite some time now. At first I was figuring out a new routine with an active toddler and tween. Later, it just became easy to be in a quiet routine and not have to think about something to say.  I was able to spend a lot more time with some new book friends, which has given me new ideas and thoughts to share.

One of the books I’ve been reading is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. For me it is one of those life changing books, that I think everyone could benefit from.  In our crazy fast paced world, each of us could benefit from slowing down and analyzing where we are as an individual and as a planet.  This book did just that for me; it helped to remind me of the life in everything around us, and the sacredness of our relationship with the earth.  Braiding Sweetgrass is a beautiful book, filled with indigenous wisdom. After finishing the last page I was left dreaming about the kind of world we would have become if Columbus and others like him had sought to understand, rather than conquer the Americas.

This wonderful book is my new bedside reference, for when I need a reminder to be grateful I turn to the chapter “Allegiance to Gratitude” highlighted and marked so that I’m easily able to find lessons like this. “We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings…”

Another favorite lesson of mine is the story of the heron, the fisherman and the fox which teaches…“Cautionary stories of the consequences of taking too much are ubiquitous in Native cultures, but it’s hard to recall a single one in English. Perhaps this helps to explain why we seem to be caught in a trap of over consumption, which is as destructive to ourselves as to those we consume.”

For me this book is a beautiful wake up call for a deep knowing that existed within me, but was silenced by today’s way of life. I’ve been on a journey towards a meaningful life and a meaningful life is not filled with things but is instead measured by how we treat each other and all living things. What I know for sure is that we use our obsession with stuff to fill a void. And I’ve found that void can be easily filled by reconnecting with the earth. I’ve been taking my girls on hour long trail walks every afternoon (weather permitting) and it has made us healthier, happier and more grateful for the beauty that surrounds us. I would highly recommend that you give Braiding Sweetgrass a try and let me know if it awakens anything inside of you.

Love and Light.
Gina

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