A couple of weeks ago, when Central Texas shut down due to a massive ice storm that swept the state, I found myself trapped in my house for several days, which was fortuitous in many ways.
To be fair, my experience was unlike many people in my community because I had power for most of the time I was sequestered. So I was warm, had a refrigerator full of food from my pre-Icemaggedon Costco run, and had nothing on my calendar.
I had cause to reflect on the fact that my feeling was familiar because, at least for a few days, things felt a lot like they did during the height of Covid.
I remembered how I would sometimes go days back then without changing out of my "sleepy pants" and shuffle around the house all day in slippers, along with everyone else under my roof.
There's so much I don't miss about those many months, but I miss the feeling of having most of the daily responsibilities that had crowded my calendar lifted and being left with a lot of time to think (probably too much), read, write, or rest.
It's the same feeling that comes over us when we find ourselves stuck in a situation where there's not much we can do and nowhere to go, so we're forced to slow down, take stock of the world around us, and resign ourselves to the situation.
John Koenig is an author who brilliantly creates words to describe emotions that have no words to describe them. This is what he came up with for the scenario I'm describing:
idelwild - adj. feeling grateful to be stranded in a place where you can't do much of anything--sitting for hours at an airport gate, the sleeper car of a train, or the backseat of a van on a long road trip--which temporarily alleviates the burden of being able to do anything at any time and frees up your brain to do whatever it wants to do, even if it's just to flicker your eyes across the passing landscape.
I'm learning that one of the many keys to serenity is finding idelwild moments every day, which is much easier said than done.
As I write this, I am reminded of a verse I decided to memorize a couple of years ago and do my best to keep in mind when I struggle to find serenity. It's from Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep in perfect peacethose whose minds are steadfast,because they trust in You.
When we both find and surrender to idelwild moments, trust in God can enable us to find serenity in the midst of them.
And when we can trust that God's purposes for us are to live fully and wholly, we are free to allow idelwild moments to do their excellent work on us, freeing our minds and spirit to receive what the Universe has to offer.
May you find those moments in your day today and every day from this day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.