Duluth, Beauty, Gratitude, and the Meaning of Home – by Rachel Weyenberg. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
[Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia ]
This summer I’ve had time to think about the definition of home and what it has meant to me. I have also thought about the ways growing up in Duluth has impacted my life. “If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.” I love this quote from Malala Yousafzai because I have found it to be so true over the years. I think it is incredibly fascinating that we each have a home – not necessarily a place, but rather a feeling that lives in us; a feeling where we feel the most safe.
Although Duluth has recorded temperatures lower than the North Pole, and there’s only either snow or construction cones filling the streets, I will always be happy to call Duluth my home. Born and raised, I’ve realized that Duluth has many attractions that I’ve been taking for granted. Duluth is home to many places such as Enger Tower, The Aerial Lift Bridge, The Superior Hiking Trail, Canal Park, Bayfront Festival Park, Bentleyville USA, Glensheen Mansion, and Grandma’s Marathon. Duluth was also rated as “The Best Outdoor City in America” during the year of 2014.
One of the things I love about Duluth is Lake Superior. It is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America. I know for certain that I have taken this for granted. Being able to just drink clean water straight from the faucet is a rare and beautiful thing that not many people get the chance to do. I’ve seen some of my friends that go to school in the cities, or other places away from Duluth, carry back big gallons and water bottles full of water, just so they can fix their Lake Superior water cravings.
Another thing I have noticed while living in Duluth are the tourists, as well as new students, that come to Duluth absolutely amazed by attractions like Canal Park, Enger Tower, or the hiking trails. It wasn’t until recently, I learned that on a clear day at Enger Tower, it’s estimated that it’s possible to see for over twenty miles.
I also witnessed the population of Duluth triple this summer when the Tall Ships and the World’s Largest Rubber Duck came to canal. However, even when the Tall Ships are not in Duluth, people remain mesmerized by the huge ships coming through the canal from all different parts of the world.
It didn’t really hit me how cool of a city Duluth was until I was down in Canal Park with my older brother, who now lives in St. Paul, MN. He moved away about three years ago, and always wants to go down to the lake when he comes to visit. When playing tourist with him, I realized I’d seen the process of the ships coming through the canal so many times that it had lost some of its value to me. Millions of people travel to Duluth from all over the world, and yet all of these attractions have always been right in my backyard.
After writing this article, Duluth has become more than just a beautiful city to grow up in. It has become a place where I feel safe and happy, whether in the apartments at Scholastica or at my house by the lake. I think it’s awesome to travel the country and the world, but after thinking about the definition of home, I believe we also need to spend more time appreciating right where we are, and also how special the everyday things in our lives are.
Rachel Weyenberg is a nursing student at the College of St. Scholastica
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