Quote by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Even a wounded world is feeding us.

Even a wounded world holds us, giving us

moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy

over despair. Not because I have my head 

in the sand, but because joy 

is what the Earth gives me 

daily and I must return the gift.

from: https://voxpopulisphere.com/2019/10/14/robin-wall-kimmerer-i-close-my-eyes-and-listen-to-the-voices-of-the-rain/

Some of you will be familiar with Kimmerer’s outstanding book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Her writing is wise and poetic, full of rich quotes such as this one, as she shares her botanical and indigenous knowledge of the natural world, her beliefs in our interconnectedness, in the possibility of change.

There is so much contained in these few words – how a wounded world (and who could argue with that description?) is feeding us, holding us, giving us / moments of wonder and joy. Her response to these moments is I choose joy / over despair. Then lest we think her choice unrealistic, she explains that joy / is what the Earth gives me / daily and I must return the gift.

Every day she finds joy in the living world of plants, earth, water; she receives this joy with gratitude. And so in her world view, it is incumbent on her, on us all, to return the gift, to share it so that we do not succumb to despair for this wounded world. I am inspired by the idea of returning the gift of joy even in the face of despair. May you also be inspired.

9 thoughts on “Quote by Robin Wall Kimmerer

  1. Thank you dearly for introducing me to this quote and the book, Braiding Sweetgrass. These lines are the answer to a problem I’ve been wrestling with these days. I have a friend who sees the deep despair of this world and wonders how it is that I continue to move forward with joy. In some respects, it seems she thinks I “hide my head in the sand.” I try not to become defensive when she questions my way. This quote is my answer! I could not put into words the deep gratitude that I feel for simply being in this world, even with all the struggle and sorrow . . . but Robin Kimmerer did it simply and beautifully and truly.


    • Dear Donna! Your response is joy in itself! “the deep gratitude that I feel for simply being in this world,even with all the struggle and sorrow” – thank you so much for sharing your own wisdom. xoxoxo


  2. Dear Jan – yes, this gorgeous wounded world does sustain us. I would also add that it’s not only the natural world that feeds and holds us, but also we wounded, imperfect and generous humans. Your blog is testimony: the soul food you offer feeds and holds us. Thank you, dear heart! xoxo


  3. Robin is such a wise, warm nurturing voice. As it happens, I am now reading Braiding Sweetgrass which has been on my bookshelf for several years. I loved Gathering Moss which I read when it came out. ❤️🙏😌



  4. LOVE this! No matter what, I “vote” for joy every time – it really is a superpower energy which is both mysterious and powerful – thanks Jan xoo


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