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The Sweetest Grass Basket

Imagine it's evening and you only know this because the light in your womb room has dimmed and you begin to hear a sweet hum of sounds. You know this is being spoken for you by the ones who hold you dearly within the very tenderness of the tendons of the womb.

These are the words being spoken that as of yet may not register as words, yet do evoke somatic warmth.


Recently I attended a retreat called Seven Levels of Quest held by Kate Rydge. A fellow called Ian brought along some braided sweetgrass that he was going to offer into the fire as sweet incense.

I saw it being passed around and added myself into the swirl, greedily grabbing as much as would be gifted to me.

I read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer a little while ago and absolutely devoured this book. To a weaver who is also a mystic and poet, it was sweet heaven to read each chapter. However, I have not ever seen sweetgrass nor did I know it could be grown in Australia.

Immediately on touching the sweetgrass I knew I had to weave her. I asked for the older dried grass to use as the spokes and I began. The fragrance of the sweetgrass added a heightened sensual element to the weaving process.

Somewhere in the weaving I began to know that this basket was for a baby growing quietly in her mummy, one of the retreat participants.

I gifted this basket to Kate and Michael along with the poem above, written on a scrap of paper and folded up small to fit in the basket. Michael and Kate shared the most touching, heart warming story of their union and coming together as a family.

Michael and Kate were so touched and took the basket home to Melbourne to place it on their alter. Each night they read the poem aloud to their baby and held the basket, evoking the sweet fragrance.

Michael and Kate have since moved form Melbourne to Coffs Harbour, so I will get to be a hands on 'Aunty Lea' .


Sweetgrass is indigenous to North America and is also called Holy Grass. It is considered one of the four sacred herbs of the First Nations, the others being tobacco, sage and cedar. It is used in traditional ceremonies of prayer to evoke purification, peace, calmness, mediation and healing through smudging with the burning of braids.

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