I keep hoping someone is going to ask me if I’ve been anywhere ‘nice’ recently, because then I can take a deep breath and dive in with the following …

“Thank you for asking, because as it happens, I have. I’ve been ALL OVER THE PLACE without even leaving my home, thanks to the following pages, which you too are about to dive into.”

The first place I’ve been visiting is a place we all recognise but rarely talk openly or honestly about. It is that place called love, but not the Disney-sop version – rather a more real, gritty, demanding and often heart-breaking place that to my mind pushes us to evolve, and evolve for the better into (hopefully) more compassionate beings.

We chose ‘Love is a verb’ as the main theme for this issue so that we could explore all the ways in which love as an action already shows up in our lives, and all the ways we could, if we choose, find more space for it.

New contributor Raiyah Butt opens our themed section by writing about how self-love is an act of political will, not self-indulgence, and with her I travelled to a market in South London where she tells of a local stallholder who through the pandemic demonstrated love as a verb by sharing food with her to connect her back to community. I’ve also been diving in Bali to help restore coral reefs with another writer who is new to us, Annabel Heseltine, whose love of the natural world and sorrow over its decline run through her article, in which she spends time with two of the biospherians who lived for two years under glass domes in Arizona in the name of ecology and research. I’ve even sat at the feet of a modern Sufi in America, Omid Safi, to learn how taking care of the natural world is one of the three core tenets of the Qur ́an.

I’ve not been on a train, a plane, a boat or a bus, but I have travelled thousands of miles in my mind with our writers and the wisdom, questions and ideas they share in this issue. But the furthest place I travelled was back to my teens as I remembered a cute greetings card I once bought just because I loved what it said. It was a Snoopy card – who didn’t love Snoopy back in the day? – and simply said: “If you love something, you take care of it.”

And I think that’s what this issue – if not every issue – of Resurgence & Ecologist gently reminds us.

Susan Clark is the Editor of Resurgence & Ecologist.