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Bethany Dawson

Author // Writer // Editor

Latest Journal Entries


One of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of this season is to be present. I love Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work on the ways in which we can find shelter in the world by acknowledging where we are in all of its complexity. “To greet sorrow today does not mean that sorrow will be there […]

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The Healing Dark

This month’s moon is named in honour of an animal I have never seen. It is believed that the beavers labour to build their lodge at this time of the year before the hard cold sets in. Many of us feel that tug to hunker down, stockpile for the winter and hibernate. The ritual I […]

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Upstream is an offering of essays that map the landscape as I see it. Subscribers get full access to my work. If you are already a member, please login here. If you are not currently a member but would like to join, please click here.

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Hanging Washing

At this time, we are all artists engaged in the act of re-imagining reality. We are experiencing loss, grief and possibility. To understand and interpret it requires courage and creativity. With a husband navigating the front line tensions of intensive care and three very sociable children missing their family and friends, life can feel heavy. […]

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Where I am From

The space that this season has opened is fertile ground for creativity. As my sense of responsibility to the things I ‘should’ be doing falls away, I am left with a desire to write. I read a poem last week by Appalachian poet, George Ella Lyon, entitled ‘Where I’m From’. It begins: ‘I am from […]

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The Body Tells Many Truths

This article first appeared in Roots and Wings Magazine, a beautiful publication that celebrates women and their quest for authenticity. There are four small scars on my right shoulder where an adolescent lion pounced on me during a safari walk. Apparently, he was picking me off as a straggler at the back of a pack […]

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The Murmuration

This article first appeared in Bumble, a fantastic journal showcasing the wonders of the natural world. In the winter, when dusk is approaching and the river Lagan in Belfast is flat calm, a huge black cloud buckles and bends above the Albert Bridge. The spectacle stops traffic and causes pedestrians to pause their commute. This […]

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A Creative Life

How to integrate stillness as a creative practice. I sat this week on my plastic chair tucked into the reeds at our ‘secret lake’ and watched a water rail step through the mud. They are notoriously shy wading birds that you might hear but never set eyes on. It squeals like someone being hurt and […]

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The Bees and the Birds: Home Education through Nature Study

This article first appeared in The Green Parent Magazine. “Look, mum, there are black bees buzzing everywhere,” my then four-year old said, drawing my attention to a dark cloud of insects. I adjusted the newborn strapped to my chest and grabbed the hand of my three-year-old to watch the silvery-black Ashy Mining Bees streaming from […]

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