Photo (mine): Blackwood River, swollen after late winter downpour. The Blackwood sustains several eco communities along its approx. 300 kms from the junction of Arthur River and Balgarup River (near Quelarup) via Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Nannup, and down to Augusta and into the Southern Ocean. The river has been vital to the forests and natural communities for thousands of years, but chemical runoff, salinity, erosion, and pollution have affected the river over time.
I’ve just finished reading a most wonderful book: ‘Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I would never have had the privilege had it not been for Carol Hand at carolahand.wordpress.com (check out her blog Voices From the Margins).
Kimmerer (a native American) draws together the wisdom in developing a relationship with nature, and she draws out how this has already been done by the indigenous peoples of America, but sadly marginalised since European settlement (repeated on every continent). The book is refreshing, moving, and challenging. It is also deeply distressing where Kimmerer tells how America’s waterways and lakes have been filled with industrial waste and all but destroyed. Kimmerer’s point – that when we despise and treat nature with utter contempt and use it greedily without thought, we kill off our best and much needed friend. As a fan of deep ecology the book resonated strongly, and from a spiritual point of view the ecology, economy and relationships also resonated strongly. An amazing reading journey.
The book is also a reminder that other indigenous peoples have also been ignored, and their wisdom scorned, yet such wisdom would contribute to protecting and rescuing the planet.
Our planet is the only one we’ve got, we need to treat it like someone we really, deeply care for. If we do we can live and breathe together.