Braiding Sweetgrass

by

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Linden is Robin’s older daughter, who ends up going to college on the West Coast, and later gets married. Linden 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.

Linden Quotes in Braiding Sweetgrass

The Braiding Sweetgrass quotes below are all either spoken by Linden or refer to Linden. 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

Linden Character Timeline in Braiding Sweetgrass

The timeline below shows where the character Linden 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... (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... (full context)
Chapter 8
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
This chapter, “told through the eyes of [Kimmerer’s] daughter,” begins with the narrator (almost certainly Linden, the eldest) musing on the weather of late fall days in Kentucky and the yellow... (full context)
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Linden first meets Hazel while she and her mother Robin are looking for wild blackberries, soon... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Linden describes how her mother Robin finds great joy in household tasks like splitting wood, sometimes... (full context)
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...take her to see her old house before the next winter. Robin drives Hazel and Linden to the house, and Hazel starts to cry as they approach. (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...get out and Hazel shows them around the yard, finally going inside on her own. Linden looks inside the house and sees a room decorated for Christmas, with a table set... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...initial visit, Hazel often calls 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... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...winter begins, Hazel expresses a wish to visit her old house for one last Christmas. Linden’s family isn’t traveling to be with Robin’s mother and father as they normally would at... (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... (full context)
Chapter 9
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...husband abandoned 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... (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
...Robin continues 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... (full context)
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
...acts as 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... (full context)
Chapter 10
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Robin’s eldest daughter Linden goes off to college in California, “long before the pond was ready for swimming.” Robin... (full context)
Chapter 11
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...home, one 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.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Reciprocity and Communalism Theme Icon
Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge Theme Icon
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
Animacy and Value Theme Icon
...wouldn’t harm what gives you love,” one student says. Kimmerer then describes how her daughter Linden calls her to talk while she works in the garden. One day Robin asks her... (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
...for their 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.... (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... (full context)
Chapter 30
Gifts, Gratitude, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Motherhood and Teaching Theme Icon
The Indigenous Past and Future Theme Icon
...air is rocked by waves of heat. Robin rushes the girls to her car as Linden asks her if she is afraid. Robin lies and tells her that she’s not afraid,... (full context)