I don't think I could explain the essence of this beautiful book any better than Kimmerer’s own words do: "I lean in close to watch and listen to those who are far wiser than I am. What I share here...are seeds gleaned from the fields of their collective wisdom..." (180). Sweetgrass is her guide, each chapter layered with the same patience, respect, and indigenous knowledge that it takes to sustainably complete the cycle of sweetgrass itself. However, it is with the added help from strawberries, maple trees, cattails, garden vegetables, buffalo and salmon (just to name a few) that Kimmerer teaches readers to live a life led by reciprocity, gratitude, and balance--just as she was taught. Reading the stories is a sweet and slow process, but one that will leave you with a little hope, and much to pass on.
I love this book because Louv doesn’t lecture the reader. The focus is not on what we might be doing wrong, but on all the ways humans and other animals have done well together—and why. It covers childhood pets, wild encounters, studies of our mutual makeup, ways of communicating, and more! If anything, this combination of diverse anecdotes and research encourages awe and open observation when we connect with nature, and an acknowledgement of the benefits therein.