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Winter Views

The "Thoughtful" Christmas Bench


There's something inviting and peaceful about a bench...

Of course, it's a little too cold to accept the invitation of this icy bench right now! Yet, walking by it on my favorite trail, I still want to sit here (in warmer weather) just thinking and imagining. A bench by the water is a perfect place for contemplation.

I tip my hat (or, in this case, my knit cap) to anyone who can work the word "contemplation" into the lyrics of a song. And a Scottish poet did just that.

At the age of 23, James Montgomery became the editor of a newspaper, the Sheffield Register, which he renamed the Sheffield Iris. His efforts as editor might have impressed Ebenezer Scrooge even before his reclamation. Using words as healing weapons, James Montgomery fought for the abolition of slavery and to shield children from the damaging conditions of work as chimney sweeps.


One of my favorite hymns, "Angels, From the Realms of Glory," first appeared in the Iris on the Christmas Eve of 1816.

Sages, leave your contemplations,

Brighter visions beam afar;

Seek the great desire of nations,

Ye have seen His natal star.

Come and worship,

Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the newborn King.

                                                     - James Montgomery

The Three Wise Men by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1925 Public Domain.jpg

Henry Ossawa Tanner

The Three Wise Men, 1925

From tufted puffins to a rare Northwest dog—animals, birds. and nature play important roles in my island mysteries. Explore the Islands of Mystery here →

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