HOMESONG Book Club discussion

Week 1 | Section I: Planting Sweetgrass Commentary, Quotations, and Reflections

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Watters | 1 comments Mod
Dear Homesong Readers,

It's the very first week of our book club with Braiding Sweetgrass, and I cannot wait to discuss takeaways, favorite quotes, and revelations etc. as we journey through the pages together. I have decided to split my part of our discussion into five sections as we read, Section I being over the first part of the book: Planting Sweetgrass. Feel free throughout pages 3-59 to come here and add the following:

- favorite quotations, along with why they made such an impact on you

- lessons learned, perhaps expanding on such imparted wisdom

- meaningful metaphors, and how your relationship with the land has shifted or changed because of Robin's way with words

- challenging takeaways and/or parts of the book that go against the grain of your current ways of thinking

- insights or reflections, along with why certain parts of the text stood out to you

- questions you have along the way, with hopes to gain a broader perspective through respectful engagement with your fellow readers

- anything else you fancy discussing from Section 1: Planting Sweetgrass

I am going to be popping in from time to time to share on this thread, and feel free to create your own topic to add for our April book as well, as this is OUR book club, not solely my own to share with you. All are welcome to share and participate, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

With Care,

ps. I am new to Goodreads and this entire platform in general, so bear with me as I continue to learn how to next navigate this space. xx

message 2: by Chelsey (new)

Chelsey | 1 comments Hello, book club friends! I have been listening to the audiobook of Braiding Sweetgrass and decided I needed a hard copy. There is so much I would like to highlight and take notes on. Hearing the authors voice has been pretty sweet though.

These first few chapters have really changed the way I think about my relationship with growing plants and harvesting food. I love to garden but there existed an unreciprocated pride in growing something. I buy the seeds, buy the soil from the store or compost it, tend to the seedlings, water them, set them in a sunny window, then do the work of setting them outside and continue to tend. Robin reminded me that there exists a relationship. There is so much those little seeds do, they aren't completely void of intelligence. There exists a going forth that is written within to grow, expand, produce and commune with the Earth and with animals. An exchange.

I love how Robin mentions that when we commodify things they become possessions, a slave to whatever use we intend for them. Living in the twenty-first century requires an intentional understanding that things do not exist merely for humans pleasure or use.

I am learning to lean into the relationship I can have with the Earth and with the plants that grow out of it. To be more respectful and in awe of what can be with a little work on my part.


message 3: by Jessie (new)

Jessie Swenson | 2 comments Hi friends!

So happy to be reading alongside you again! This book is exactly what my heart needed in this season of my life- thank you Amanda for once again introducing a great book to me that I may not otherwise have known about.

What strikes me most about the first section is how distant we have become from Mother Earth when we in fact are actually a PART of the earth. We are a child and an animal of the earth and in a symbiotic relationship with the earth and so much of that has been forgotten in this day and age. Her chapter about the grammar of animacy especially struck a chord with me in talking to the non human beings of the earth and addressing them not as “it” but as someone. I’ve made it a point with my children to greet the trees and the sun and the creatures we encounter on a daily basis and in just saying hello I feel gratitude for their presence and communion with them as fellow beings.

I have also appreciated learning more about the indigenous cultures of the Native peoples. There is so much wisdom the author shares with us and it feels truly like a gift. Learning more about their history and the violence against them by white European settlers and relocation of their tribes is heartbreaking and important. Hearing their story is an important part of dismantling white supremacy in our American culture.

I love this book and am already well into section two and look forward to our discussions!


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Vainer (stephanievainer) | 1 comments Hello everyone!

I am so happy to be reading this book. I have been feeling very uninspired lately and I am so happy Amanda choose to begin with this one, and feel it was the perfect read to bring me out of my funk.

I loved section one and felt such a personal connection to this book. I am Ojibway and grew up on a native reservation (or Indian territory if you’re in the U.S), and all the teachings, the stories and the language is what I grew up learning. It gave me chills reading some of these stories that I haven't herd in over 20 years.

I did gain a lot of insight from robin about the way she thinks about plants and comparing it to the native teachings. It reminded me of going to my grandmas when I am feeling sick and I stop by my grandmothers who always has a jug of cedar tea in her fridge, because using cedar leaves is medicine that has been passed down from generation to generation. I enjoy learning from people who believe in the power of plants as not only food but medicine.

One of my favourite quotes so far is “We say that humans have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn”. I like how Robin compares the Western tradition being the hierarchy of beings and humans being on top, and in native culture humans are considered the younger brothers of creation. “We must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance” which is exactly what I think we can learn from this book so far, and how we can incorporate that teaching and knowledge into all our personal lives.

I find myself using a lot of the teachings she has shared in this book with my child, and instead treating trees and plants like inanimate objects we talk to the trees and plants in our yard. I just think its a great way to teach her to respect the environment if she believes that they have feelings just like she does.


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