The view from my window this morning was crystalline, frosty and sparkling. Each tree branch is covered in frost, creating a magical, fairy-like appearance–a beautiful sight. As I sat down with my coffee to peruse my social, I bumped into the inspirational meme featured in the first-half of the image in this post. What struck me was the background photo: a pine forest, sunlight streaming through its branches. This, my friends, is what we on the Iron Range enjoy on the daily–if we so choose.
When discussing the Iron Range, folks will sometime question what there is to do. In comparison to metropolitan communities or even larger cities like Duluth, for instance, it may seem awfully quiet. While we have amazing arts opportunities like the Northern Lights Music Festival, Iron Range Original Music Association, and concerts at Minnesota Discovery Center, we don’t have an urban nightlife like the one you would find in Chicago.
I would argue that nightlife is not necessary for meaningful existence.
What creates a quality life? In the article: Improve Your Life: What 10 Things Should You Do Every Day to Improve Your Life, Time Magazine’s first suggestion was to “spend time in nature.” The second is “exercise,” and the third is “spend time with friends and family.”
Wednesday I went for a hike on Maple Hill in Hibbing. It was remarkably warm and no snow. The views were exquisite, hard wood forests over rolling hills. As my dog and I traipsed down the trail, we came upon a mom and her two young children. The kids were filled with energy, exuberant at being free to run and explore. We greeted each other, then each headed in opposite directions. As I hiked away I could hear their happy little voices chirping as they ran through the forest.
Iron Range living is (generally) a more quiet lifestyle. We have our exciting events and gatherings. But the perks we enjoy include lunchtime walks on wooded trails, solitude in the forest, and immediate access to the kinds of places that inspire imagination. The second image in this post’s meme I captured while hiking at Lookout Mountain last weekend. It was a foggy, mystical morning–and being there made me feel like I could breath.
While I enjoy an excursion to Chicago, trip to the Twin Cities, or jaunt to Duluth, I am always glad to return home. Iron Range living gives room for living. For this, I am grateful.