COUNCIL OF THE PECANS by Robin Kimmerer in Orion Magazine
Robin Wall Kimmerer is Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). She is the author of numerous scientific articles, the book Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses (2003), and her latest publication Braiding Sweetgrass (Milkweed Editions 2014) has received praise from authors such as Jane Goodall and Elizabeth Gilbert. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and combines her heritage with her scientific and environmental passions.
Council of the Pecans
Lessons on native resilience from a venerable tree
Heat waves shimmer above the grasses, the air heavy and white and ringing with the buzz of cicadas. The boys have been shoeless all summer long, but even so the dry September stubble of 1895 pricks their feet as they trot across the sunburned prairie, lifting their heels like grass dancers. Just young willow whips in faded dungarees and nothing else, ribs showing beneath narrow brown chests as they run. They veer off toward the shady grove where the grass is soft and cool underfoot, flopping in the tall grass with loose-limbed abandon. They rest for a few moments in the shade and then spring to their feet, palming grasshoppers for bait. FOR MORE
Picture Credit: Ellen Schon