I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
We are discussing the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer in our Inner Circle Book Club right now. It’s a beautiful book that blends science, botany, Native American mythology, ancestral wisdom and natural history.
In between the pages are generous sharing of teachings and stories that uplift you and connect you back into the best parts of yourself as a human.
In every Book Club session we start with the chapters and then work outward exploring bigger themes, and sharing our own stories around these themes. It’s a lot like sitting around a campfire, as we open up and discuss our thoughts and experiences. I don’t even make it a requirement that you have to have read the book, as I will always read sections of each chapter, and give an outline of the essence of the work.
I’ve found that in a stressful world, coming together in this slow and intimate way is deeply restorative. Book Club gives me weeks worth of ideas to ponder and explore, and helps me to see the world and myself in healthier, more balanced ways.
I think books do that for us anyway – open portals to other times, other ways of being and thinking – and all of these things can shape us as surely as any lived experience.
One of my happiest memories from yesterday, was of discussing how our mothers and grandmothers were brought up to be thrifty, and would keep things like old buttons and zips to repurpose for mending, or making new garments. How little was wasted, in the kitchen or the home, and how people had fewer possessions but treasured what they had. Lots for us to think about, and to embrace. I shared a childhood memory of sitting on the back steps in the sunshine with my grandmother as she stripped the buttons off my grandfather’s much-mended old work shirt, before she cut the fabric up into squares to use as cleaning clothes. It was such honest work, and useful, and it respected the life of the garment right up until its final repurposing.
I have my own button jar, which once belonged to another family member and has somehow ended up with me. How about you? What do you repurpose, recycle, or love for the history of the hands that made it and the heart that went into it?
Love, buttons, and an old Danish Butter Cookies tin filled with sewing things, Nicole xx