"Our Earth" Book Discussion
Come, share your ideas and learn more about environmental topics in this space for thoughtful exchange, around fiction and non-fiction books.
Starting from a common base to have real discussions about the environment, this book discussion club is a great way to deepen ideas, have respectful debates while listening to the points of view of others and broaden our understanding and vision on this important topic. Together, we may discover new forms of commitment and imagine new sustainable and desirable horizons.
The book to be discussed is:
Braiding SweetGrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a scientist yet retaining her indigenous wisdom and love for the ways of nature. We are taking two months to read this very rich book, time to savor the Creation Story, the wild strawberries, the three sisters, and notice how beautiful purple asters and goldenrod are together. We discussed three chapters, up to page 175 for our first meeting on October 30, and are finishing up right after Thanksgiving. Kimmerer says: "Imagine a culture, in which gratitude is the first priority."
In the second half of the book " the honorable harvest" offers rules to rein in our tendencies to consume, so that the world might be as rich for the seventh generation, as it is for our own. “Never take the first, never take the last….. take only what you need ….. never take more than half …...leave some for others…... harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Use it respectfully, never waste what you have been given…… share, give thanks for what you have been given…….sustain the one who sustains you and the Earth will last forever…” Kimmerer emphasizes reciprocity and animacy…...The taking of another life to support your own, is far more significant when you recognize the beings harvested are subjects, not objects, vested with awareness, intelligence, spirit, and worthy of respect and appreciation.
The author describes dishonorable harvests where we take what doesn't belong to us and destroy them beyond repair…. Onondaga lake, the Alberta tar sands, the rainforest in Malaysia, the Amazon rainforest, and the mountains in West Virginia. She uses stories like the legendary monster of the Anishinaabe people, the Windigo, and relates it to the current, insatiable consumption of many in the West. Indulgent self-interest motivates our choices, rather than respect and sharing of resources for all members of the community. Our economic system celebrates infinite growth on a finite planet, a process not compatible with nature’s life-sustaining systems.
All are welcome. No RSVP required.
Questions about this program? Contact the branch at 240-777-0970.