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  • Writer's pictureOrla Beaton


It has been nearly 5 months since our world was turned upside down due to the pandemic and 5 months since I began teaching on Zoom. What a challenging time it has been, for some undoubtedly more than others and as I sit and write now I just feel incredibly grateful to have moved through it intact, healthy, with an income supported by you and with a fun & loving family around me. Now is certainly not the time to take any of these things for granted. So many have suffered ill-health, bereavement, loneliness, stress of furlough & redundancy, trials of home-schooling and the anxiety of finding a way to live in this new world where the virus still exists. 

Despite this unsettled time, this photo taken at Stonehenge this summer was a real moment of happiness. Gordon & I were fortunate to have had a few days of child-free time away at my sisters and were delighted to be finally visiting this sacred place. After the stress of lockdown I can't tell you the relief I felt to be free to choose where we went and we found most places to be well organised and safe.

I wrote this poem on my return to Scotland. It really helped me process this strange new world we found ourselves navigating.


It felt like emerging From a long dark winter Into another world of Walks by the sea Salty breezes Sacred monuments And chips on the steps

It felt like sailing On choppy waters of Face masks & anti-bac Hi-viz arrows & distant tables Around rocky outcrops of Hesitancy and unease Forgetting and remembering

It felt like resilience Growing from cliffs Of courage & solidarity Into the bones of human feet Walking around ragwort and Ammonite fossils With an ice cream in hand

Wishing you much ease & courage as you too find your way. As Van Gogh said...

"Normality is a paved road. It's comfortable to walk but no flowers grow."

Summer blessings, Orla

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