Book review: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

I began reading Braiding Sweetgrass shortly after I was lent the paperback book in September 2021. The subheading is Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Being divided into chapters, all beautifully written with much food for thought, it was easy to put this book aside and pick it up later. I finished reading it towards the end of March.

Although the plants in the book all grow in North America I cannot recommend Braiding Sweetgrass highly enough, no matter where you live. Robin Wall Kimmerer combines her people’s traditions with the knowledge she has gained through her scientific training. There are stories about places and people, traditional tales and warnings about taking creation for granted.

The world would be a better place if we all regarded the good things of the earth as gifts, respecting living things and not making monetary gain and material possessions our priority.


Thanksgiving and travel #AtoZChallenge

This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.

My posts so far in this A to Z Challenge about Christmas have been entirely about the first Christmas over 2000 years ago. Nowadays Christians and many other people celebrate Christmas with thanksgiving enjoying a Christmas dinner not unlike that associated with Thanksgiving Day in North America. They possibly travel long distances to be with family members. Services are held in Christian churches to celebrate and give thanks for the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas presents are given and received.

The Magi travelled a long way to find the Christ-child. Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, then to Jerusalem, where Jesus was presented at the temple in accordance with Jewish customs. Anna gave thanks to God as she recognised the Christ-child in the temple. Luke 2: 21-40

After the visit of the Magi to an unspecified house where they were living they fled to Egypt only returning to Nazareth after Herod the Great had died. The holy family (as Jesus and his parents are sometimes called) travelled a long way. Perhaps they had to use the gold that the Magi had given to Jesus.

A Christmas carol with a travelling theme is The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol.

While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4

Book Review: A Lake District Christmas compiled by Alan Cleaver

I bought A Lake District Christmas as a Christmas present for hubby. Cheekily I began reading it before he did, but he finished reading it first!

We both enjoyed the varied content including snippets from newspapers compiled from the local archives as well as extracts from the writings of famous Cumbrian residents.

I was particularly impressed by the writing skills of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a gentleman remembered in connection with the founding of the National Trust. Here he described ice-skating at daybreak.

While most of the content is from times past there is also a recipe for snow pancakes, provided by a living person. She gave a demonstration, which was broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria before Christmas.

The book is a well-designed hardback. Its cover bears the words: A Lake District Christmas Tales and Traditions of Cumbrian Yuletides Past. It is published by Inspired by Lakeland.