Nuts are like the pan fish of the forest, full of protein and especially fat—“poor man’s meat…” Today we eat them daintily, shelled and toasted, but in the old times they’d boil them up in a porridge. The fat floated to the top like a chicken soup and they skimmed it and stored it as nut butter: good winter food. High in calories and vitamins—everything you needed to sustain life. After all, that’s the whole point of nuts: to provide the embryo with all that is needed to start a new life. – excerpt from Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass.
How do we find a new path forward when it comes to our relationship to the Earth? Dr. Kimmerer finds answers in integrating indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and her own story as an Anishinabekwe scientist trying to bring them together in service to what matters most. Kimmerer believes that healing the human relationship with the Earth requires an intertwining of science, spirit, and story.
As the beautiful white almond blossoms surround us (and their pollens bombard our sinuses!), I find myself asking what can the almond trees teach us? This question doesn’t just come from Anishinabekwe wisdom that Kimmerer shares– I realize this is also the kind of question that our religious ancestors, the 19th century Transcendentalists, also would have wanted us to ask. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Margaret Fuller. They were critical of “cold, rational,stuffy” Boston Unitarian churches—they wanted more feeling, more poetry….they believed people should go out and experience the world, should go out and find truths for themselves—people should go out and get awakened. Go out into the natural world and discover what is to be revealed. What new life, new perspectives can the nut/embryo offer us?
I look forward to answering this question this Sunday with you all! Blossomings–
Come celebrate the glorious beauty we are surrounded by at this time of year (if your allergies allow!) Please wear your boots or sneakers and a coat as you will be invited to take a brief contemplative walk (or do a sitting) into the surrounding almond orchard as part of the worship service! Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy, Haruko DeArth, and Jude Markel.