“When We Are Lost / How We Are Found,” this issue of the About Place Journal, feels very personal to us–we needed healing as much as anyone.

We delighted in the whimsical approach some took to our call, through language play (Erin Clark and H. A. Sappho) or satire (Debra Dean’s brilliantly scathing essay about her beloved hometown and Amazon). We also rejoiced in the playfulness of scientists dancing as seed (Jacklyn Brickman and Kathryn Nusa Logan) or giving us the vibration of the forest (Sue Gwin). Like all of you, we needed a chance to laugh and revel in cleverness.

But we also recognized the need to not look away from the issues that continue to afflict our world. Ethnobotanist Robin Wall Kimmerer has stated “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between the self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.” Thus, we are grateful especially for Nathalie Handal’s stunning photo essay about Palestine, Aghaghia Rahimzadeh’s piece about climate change for Himalayan apple farmers, DJ Lee’s about the Greenland Ice Sheet, and Emmett Wheatfall’s necessary prayer. Our cover artist, Lezlie Amara Piper, uses creation itself to heal. Her art made the four editors gasp with wonder.

The poets, fiction writers, essayists, visual and performance artists in these pages reflect the dichotomy of gravity and necessary play that we’ve all felt in these uncertain months. May they provide you with respite and healing as much as they have us.