THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS
books - The Spirit of Sweetgrass
Overview of The Spirit of Sweetgrass
Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old
sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company
of her dead husband, Daddy Jim. Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie
Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful “love
baskets,” praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those
who visit her roadside stand. When she’s faced with losing her
home, her stand, and being put into a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks
her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus, something she’s
always wanted to do. Once there, she reunites with Gullahs and African
ancestors; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted. Now Essie Mae,
who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within
her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart.
A month after beginning The Spirit of Sweetgrass, Nicole went on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. She tried to settle in to what might be a very long couple of months. Nicole found she was unable to write, but she reveled in the stories and loving care of a friend of the family, a Lowcountry basket weaver. Just two weeks later, Coulter was born, small but healthy. The circumstances of his birth left Nicole awed and grateful for the blessings of a second chance at life and a healthy child. She soon found the voice of the weaver, Essie Mae, louder and more persistent than ever. She recalls having to wake in the middle of the night to put the story on paper--that of Heaven and family ties.