The things that sustained me throughout my career have sustained me during this challenging time: my love of writing and contemplating the world.

In July 2019 I retired after half a century as a university professor in the USA. I was very afraid of having to live without the delightful pleasure of getting up every morning and driving to work to teach my classes and do other activities related to my profession. Little did I know then that just a few months after my retirement the entire world was going to be on lockdown as a consequence of a terrible pandemic. How was I going to cope with such a strange situation? Almost by instinct, my reaction was to express in writing how I was looking at the world anew, at how we share a small world in spite of the absurd attacks against each other and our endless destruction of the environment. I have been writing practically every day, but when I look back at those texts I realize that the main theme has been to appeal to a more generous view not only of other humans but of everything, of the companion species of all kinds. Let’s take the horror of the pandemic to view this world anew, as a home for all. Here is one of the poems that summarizes this feeling:

In the kinship of this world

all people partake

as do the friendly vegetables,

the divine ants,

the companion dogs,

the happy grasshoppers,

the shiny lettuce,

the colorful radish,

and the restless squirrels.

In the kinship of this world

towers rise

to better see,

to better see our own pettiness,

our grandeur,

and our generosity,

greeting each grain of salt

and of soil

with a single destiny,

with a single destiny.

Emilio Bejel, edited by Rachelle Trerice