A beautifully illustrated natural history memoir that reminds the reader that re-storying our relationship with the plants of home can be our first step in restoring the world.
In a world made precarious by human mobility, all of us can learn from those who root in place. Plants surround us, yet all too often we ignore their quiet and complex lives. When a new job brings botanist and artist Lyn Baldwin back to her childhood home in southern British Columbia, she is challenged to confront both the cost of her mobility and the assumptions of her profession. If nearly three decades spent in motion gave Lyn scientific credentials and a career, it also made her a stranger to home and country. Lonely and homesick, Lyn runs outside. She doesn’t go far—rarely more than a day’s drive from Kamloops, BC—but within the pages of her field journal, the slow confluence of art and science allows Lyn to learn not just about but from the green wisdom of her neighbours.
Tutored by the plants of forest and garden, wilderness and wetland, Lyn realizes that her botany never has been, and never will be, a placeless science. Instead, Drawing Botany Home gives Lyn the metaphors to reconcile the dark horror of settler/Indigenous relations and the hard edges of her own childhood: poverty, a traumatic fire, unwanted stepfathers, a hippie mother.