Embracing the darkness: reflections on winter in northern Minnesota
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Embracing the darkness: reflections on winter in northern Minnesota

In northern Minnesota, the winter solstice marks a moment of seasonal significance, prompting residents to contemplate and reflect on how best to navigate the challenges of the extended darkness that characterizes this time of year.

Many embrace the darkness and revel in the limited daylight hours, while others seek out the small glimpses of sunrises and moments of daylight during a busy work day.

“There’s a way to embrace and enjoy the cold and the darkness, and you just have to dig a little bit deeper, and you can find the beauty in it,” Sarah Jorgenson, owner of Java Moose, said.

Former WTIP reporter Rhonda Silence said, “I try to spend time with friends and family. That’s important.” Silence recommends spending as much time outdoors as possible and having a trusted list of family or friends on hand to call when the dreary, depressing days of winter seem endless.

As someone who manages a small business in downtown Grand Marais, Drury Lane Manager Gwen Danfelt said she embraces the darkness and the slower time of year. “So this dark time of year, I gotta admit, I kind of love it.” Danfelt’s affection towards December might be related to a specific annual celebration. “My birthday is in December,” she said. “I feel very alive in December.”

WTIP spoke with a handful of community members about how they deal with the darkness of winter months and tips for others to embrace the darkness. Listen to the full feature below.