Yep, life was weird and scary this fall and winter, and I’ve been in a funk.

So many days I didn’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of my own bed. I couldn’t think of a reason why I should, either. I slept ten hours, eleven hours, sometimes twelve hours at night.

And still felt lethargic and only half-here.

Now some of the grey has lifted. Slowly, I return to the things that have always given me strength–my writing, my craft, my marriage, my family.

And my friends.

Last week, on an impulse, I invited myself to piggy-back along on a friend’s trip down to Webs, a fabulous yarn store in Northampton, MA. I’m in knitting mode, which hits me in winter. Actually, I’m in yarn-and-pattern-and-book buying mode, but whatever.

I couldn’t believe how much I anticipated that road trip. Jenny was taking a class, and would spend most of the day at the store. It’s the kind of place I can hang out in for hours, too–shopping the yarn warehouse, with its bargain-basement prices. With a shopping cart, people! I need more yarn like a hole in the head, but it was so soothing to be with the lovely colors and textures of yarn. Then I spent more hours browsing through every single pattern book and leaflet.

It all appeals to the hunter-gatherer in me.

I was in fiber junkie heaven.

And I got to spend some time with Jenny. Which turned out to be the best, most healing part.

To know Jenny is to love her. She’s simply a good, gentle woman. Always there for her family and friends. She has an open and loving heart, and we gravitate to her as a sunflower follows the sun.

One particular exchange resonates with me today. Jenny has sheep, and she’s the ‘morning feeder’. She gets up at the crack of dawn, rain or shine, to care for them. (Her husband Mike, another treasured presence in our circle, is the ‘night feeder’.)

Jenny said sometimes she hates getting up in the cold winter mornings. It can be a hard time of day here in New England. Freezing rain, deep snow, cold winds can put a damper on your enthusiasm. (I’m personally grateful we don’t have ducks or chickens this year…. The feelings of guilt on those zero degree nights is mind-numbing!)

But then Jenny, as she usually does, said something quiet and clear, and deeply profound.

“I look around, and see the morning,” she said. “And each morning is so different, Lu! Each one is beautiful in its own way….”

Light. Sky. Clouds. Wind. Water–snow, ice, rain, mist, dew. Birds. Color–in the flowers, in the leaves, everywhere you look. Something that catches your eye, or your ear, or your heart, something different, every day….

Sometimes the sunrise is brilliant and gorgeous. Other times, perhaps just a small cluster of rose-gold clouds glowing on the horizon. Sometimes the wind puts all the trees in motion. Other times, she said, it’s so quiet, you can’t even hear the traffic from the country road a few miles away. Sometimes you hear the cackling commotion of crows, other times, simply the sweet, low cry of a morning dove.

Every day. Something different. Something…unique.

Something you only see when you pull yourself out of your warm and safe bed, and venture bravely out into the new day.

I’ve thought about that every day since.

I am so grateful for people like Jenny, who gently, sweetly, help me remember what it is to be alive.

And though I’m more of a sunset person than a morning person, today I, too, try to see–with fresh eyes, an open heart, a calm spirit and grateful nature–the beauty of each new day.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.


  1. Glad you are feeling better. I love Northampton. Webs is an amazing place. They used to have a bead store as well but I think that went out of business.
    I once had chickens. They used to hide under the house in winter……..poor things.


  2. LuAnn, you are not alone in the winter ennui, nor with the darkness and lethargy of high latitudes. I live in the Pacific Northwest where our days are very short in winter. I live in the Olympic Rain Forest, which is currently covered with maybe 15 inches of snow with an ice crust on it at the moment– and I was sick with flu and am still spending long hours in bed. So I LOVE your story about the powerful presence of your wool/sheep/and support friend. This is the kind of person I call a hero. I have a page in a blog I use to “sing” unsung heroes. May I put a link to this post into my blog, please? I think you have uncovered another of those quiet people who lift others lives without fanfare, and make the biggest difference.

    Spring is close and there are already buds formed on those snowy twigs…it’s magical. Hug. Susan


  3. What a wonderful writing for a wintry day……….thanks Luann for the uplifting story. At this time, I am dealing with my mom who has had a stroke. And every minute seems to be a teary one. I truly love your thoughts and this story has made my day. thank you so much. Hugs to you… tomorrow I shall get up and look around at the new day….


  4. I heard recently: “What if we woke up one day and only had what we had thanked God for yesterday.” I was glad to read about Jenny’s gratefulness of the morning!
    Martha Ginn


  5. I say Thank you everyday I wake up and I am awake.It is lovely to be alive even if I am not well.I think of all the Joy I get from something as simple as the juice I drink or from watching my bunnies run and I say Thank you.I also say Thank you for the pain as it reminds me of what I can enjoy.
    Love and Hugs to all


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