Morningside Quaker Meeting

Braiding Sweetgrass, a worship sharing opportunity -- please join us!

Charlene Ray writes:

In cooperation with the Racial Justice Study Group, a series of 4 worship sharing times, using Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, 4 parts, beginning with pages 1-117 (Printed 2013, First paperback edition, Milkweed Editions, Canada). Some questions we will be interested in answering might be 1) what chapter was most interesting and why?, 3) are there ideas or practices that you might like to try? And 4) does any of this reading suggest a new view of Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?

Framed by Ernie Buscemi and Charlene Ray, we hope you will joing us on a journey into more expansive relationships\We will be starting October 22 and invite you to read and re-read this in the meantime. Our proposed reading schedule is something like:

October 22: Pages 1-117—Planting Sweet and Tending Sweetgrass
January 28: Pages 121-201—Picking Sweetgrass
February 25: Pages 205-300—Braiding Sweetgrass
March 25: Pages 303 to end

Here is a little bit about the book and the author from Wikipedia: The series of essays in five sections begins with “Planting Sweetgrass”, and progresses through “Tending,” “Picking,” “Braiding,” and “Burning Sweetgrass. This progression of headings suggests how Kimmerer’s book functions not only as natural history but also as ceremony which plays a decisive role in how Kimmerer comes to know the living world.

Kimmerer describes Braiding Sweetgrass as ”[A] braid of stories…woven from three strands: indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and her story, the story of an Anishinabeckwe scientist trying to bring them together in service to what matters most.” She also calls the work an intertwining of science, spirit, and story.

Kimmerer, who is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, writes about her personal experiences working with plants and reuniting with her people’s cultural traditions. Robin Wall Kimmerer (born 1953) is an American Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology; and Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Born in 1953 in Upstate New York, her time outdoors rooted a deep appreciation for the natural environment. Kimmerer has a BS in Botany from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. . She spent two years working for Bausch & Lomb as a microbiologist. Kimmerer then moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning her master’s degree in botany, followed by her PhD in plant ecology in 1983.