A pair of tweezers holds a shining golden form, around a millimetre in width, in the shape of a tiny pin. This object, precisely cut and delicately polished, is a marker for a watch dial made by Rebecca Struther, one half of Struthers Watchmakers. “Watches are our way of capturing the events of the universe, events we have no control over, in something we can wear on our bodies,” she said in an interview with The New York Times. Buying a handcrafted watch is beyond the financial means of most of us, but the importance of craft as a connector to the beauty and mystery of the world around us remains true whether the object is a Grecian urn, a Fair Isle jumper or a loaf of homemade bread. As Jeremy Seabrook writes in this issue’s Feature Story, a critique of the ‘culture change’ politicians insist is the way out of our present crises: “Many people have come to regard the perishable stuff to which we are expected to look for meaning and purpose as tomorrow’s garbage.” That’s why, in this issue of Resurgence & Ecologist, we look to craft as a counteraction to individualism and throwaway culture and as a way of building communities.

Also in the following pages, we look to living connectors. Nataly Allasi Canales and Kim Walker explore the legacies and futures of the fever tree from which the chemical quinine is extracted, and how the coronavirus epidemic has entangled the tree and Indigenous and non-Indigenous humans once again. For others, connecting is about ‘imaginative acts’ like running. In Wisdom & Wellbeing, Noé Álvarez, author of Spirit Run, speaks to Julia Travers about his 6,000-mile ultramarathon across the Americas. In an Ecologist feature, Carlos Moreno tells Catherine Early about the need to transform “the culture of proximity” via the idea of the 15-minute city, where all residents should be able to access their daily needs within the distance of a 15-minute walk or bike ride. “People live with loneliness, anonymity and stress. This situation exists partly because people don’t have the time to develop local social links because of living a hectic urban life.”

Like Rebecca Struther, we need to take time back into our own hands.

Craft has been a celebrated theme at Resurgence in our 56 years of publishing and we were among the first to cover the growing craftivist movement. As a member of The Resurgence Trust, you can access any article in our online archive (www.resurgence.org/magazine-archive), including a piece by Alexander Murdin on craft’s new counter-culture, in Issue 209. In our new Archive section, you can read an extract from our wonderful Resurgence magazines over the decades. In this issue, we feature celebrated craftivist Sarah Corbett’s account of how she was inspired to start trying to change the world a stitch at a time.

Marianne Brown is Editor at Resurgence & Ecologist