09.18.20

From the Podcast On Being with Krista Tippet, The Intelligence of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Update Aug 20. 2020:

“In talking with my environment students, they wholeheartedly agree that they love the earth. But when I ask them the question of “Does the earth love you back?” there’s a great deal of hesitation and reluctance and eyes cast down, like, oh, gosh, I don’t know. Are we even allowed to talk about that? That would mean that the earth had agency and that I was not an anonymous little blip on the landscape, that I was known by my home place. So it’s a very challenging notion, but I bring it to the garden and think about the way that when we, as human people, demonstrate our love for one another, it is in ways that I find very much analogous to the way that the earth takes care of us, is when we love somebody, we put their wellbeing at the top of a list and we want to feed them well. We want to nurture them. We want to teach them. We want to bring beauty into their lives. We want to make them comfortable and safe and healthy. That’s how I demonstrate love, in part, to my family, and that’s just what I feel in the garden [laughs], as the earth loves us back in beans and corn and strawberries. Food could taste bad. It could be bland and boring, but it isn’t. There are these wonderful gifts that the plant beings, to my mind, have shared with us. And it’s a really liberating idea to think that the earth could love us back, but it also opens the notion of reciprocity that with that love and regard from the earth comes a real deep responsibility.”

And from “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer:

“We are all bound by a covenant of reciprocity. Plant breath for animal breath, winter and summer, predator and prey, grass and fire, night and day, living and dying. Our elders say that ceremony is the way we can remember to remember. In the dance of the giveaway, remember that the earth is a gift we must pass on just as it came to us. When we forget, the dances we’ll need will be for mourning, for the passing of polar bears, the silence of cranes, for the death of rivers, and the memory of snow.”

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