Braiding Sweetgrass

by

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Larkin Character Analysis

Larkin is Robin’s younger daughter, who now goes to graduate school “studying food systems and working with urban gardeners.” Larkin is close with her mother and shares her love of gardening and appreciation for the land. Several chapters of Braiding Sweetgrass focus on Kimmerer’s experiences as a mother, but she offers few personal details about her daughters.

Larkin Quotes in Braiding Sweetgrass

The Braiding Sweetgrass quotes below are all either spoken by Larkin or refer to Larkin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
).
Chapter 9 Quotes

What I do here matters. Everybody lives downstream. My pond drains to the brook, to the creek, to a great and needful lake. The water net connects us all. I have shed tears into that flow when I thought that motherhood would end. But the pond has shown me that being a good mother doesn’t end with creating a home where just my children can flourish. A good mother grows into a richly eutrophic old woman, knowing that her work doesn’t end until she creates a home where all of life’s beings can flourish. There are grandchildren to nurture, and frog children, nestlings, goslings, seedlings, and spores, and I still want to be a good mother.

Related Characters: Robin Wall Kimmerer (speaker), Linden, Larkin
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

Being with salamanders gives honor to otherness, offers an antidote to the poison of xenophobia. Each time we rescue slippery, spotted beings we attest to their right to be, to live in the sovereign territory of their own lives.

Carrying salamanders to safety also helps us to remember the covenant of reciprocity, the mutual responsibility that we have for each other. As the perpetrators of the war zone on this road, are we not bound to heal the wounds that we inflict?

The news makes me feel powerless. I can’t stop bombs from falling and I can’t stop cars from speeding down this road. It is beyond my power. But I can pick up salamanders. For one night I want to clear my name.

Related Characters: Robin Wall Kimmerer (speaker), Linden, Larkin
Page Number: 358-359
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Braiding Sweetgrass LitChart as a printable PDF.
Braiding Sweetgrass PDF

Larkin Character Timeline in Braiding Sweetgrass

The timeline below shows where the character Larkin appears in Braiding Sweetgrass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
When her daughters Linden and Larkin are still young, Robin moves with them to Fabius, New York, to an old farmhouse... (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Robin, Linden, and Larkin eagerly await the coming of spring, when the sap begins to flow. Kimmerer explains that... (full context)
Chapter 8
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...Robin on Sundays and asks to go visit the house. Linden and her younger sister Larkin go along as well. One day they discover a wren’s nest on the old house’s... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
On the day of the Christmas party, Linden and Larkin welcome the guests while Robin goes to pick up Hazel. Hazel beams as she steps... (full context)
Chapter 9
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...her while they were living in Kentucky, leaving her to take care of Linden and Larkin alone. The three then moved back to upstate New York, where Robin looks for a... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...to work at restoring the pond whenever she has a free weekend day. Linden and Larkin grow older, and the family dog who accompanies Robin at her work eventually dies. One... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...a “good mother” sending out her fruit to be shared with the world. Linden and Larkin have also grown up here, but are now ready to leave like the apples or... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
On the last day of summer vacation, the last summer with Larkin at home, Robin watches the apples floating on the surface of the pond. Musing on... (full context)
Chapter 10
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
When Larkin gets ready to leave for college, she and Robin go camping by the pond one... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...on her front porch. At first she assumes that there was a going-away party for Larkin and her daughter has missed it, but then Robin realizes that the presents are all... (full context)
Chapter 11
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...of their teachers calls to say that Robin’s daughter (it’s not stated whether Linden or Larkin) has started quietly refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in class. Robin remembers... (full context)
Chapter 12
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...much of our society’s problems stem from a similar disconnection to the land. Her daughter Larkin, now in grad school, works with at-risk youth in urban gardens. The kids are accustomed... (full context)
Chapter 17
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...permission before she harvests them. At this point in her life Robin’s daughters Linden and Larkin are grown and live elsewhere, but they are visiting for the upcoming weekend. Robin asks... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
Back home now with her daughters Linden and Larkin, they clean and cook the wild leeks that Robin gathered, first setting aside an unwashed... (full context)
Chapter 30
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
On this night, Robin and her young daughters (Larkin is still a baby at this point) are awakened by the sound of thunder. Robin... (full context)