Wilderness and Swimming Zeepies

microscopic organisms

microscopic organisms

Christianne's Wilderness thoughts got me musing about the resilience of life.

Take the swimming zeepies, for instance. (That's what my daughter calls microscopic organisms.) Many of these little fellows will not die if their water dries up. They just enter a different mode of existence that can withstand extreme temperatures and total drought, until conditions change again.

In this altered existence, they will sometimes be carried by the wind, to new places, with new climates. Here, they open up, emerge into life again, and go on. Even if it takes a century.

As people, we may not have a century to make it through our wildernesses, but I believe that we too have remarkable resilience when we wait upon God. And He reminds us with tender loving care, "waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool...And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing... sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:6, 10)

If you're in a wilderness today, here's some healthy comfort food to take along, while you wait for the wind and for the rain...

Potato and Broccoli Casserole

Potato & Broccoli Casserole

Saute lightly:

- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- salt & pepper

Parboil 8 minutes, or until almost cooked:

- 4 to 5 potatoes, sliced about 1/4" thick

Layer in baking dish:

- pour olive oil
- potatoes, salt & peppered
- broccoli mix
- potatoes, salt & peppered
- pour olive oil

Bake all until tender, about 30 minutes covered. Top with grated cheddar if desired and bake until melted. Serve with Provencal Lentil Salad and crusty whole-grain bread laced with olive oil.

Provencal Lentil Salad

Provencal Lentil Salad

Boil 20-30 minutes, or until tender:

- 1 cup brown (green) lentils

Add & mix:

- carrot, chopped small
- a bit of scallion or onion, chopped fine
- small handful sage or parsley, chopped fine
- a few good pours olive oil
- a few small pours brown rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- salt & pepper to taste

About Lentils and Potatoes.

Photos by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger bluemountainmama said...

i love these wilderness thoughts....and the comparison to the "swimming zeepies"- how fascinating! what a neat way to look at our wildernesses.

and for some reason i always get the munchies when i come over to this site...hmmmm.....

4:44 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Blue... yes, there is so much that creation can say to our hearts when we are open. I love that.

And I wish you lived a little closer... then I could serve up some of this food on a real table! Glad the food here has some appeal for you.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous The Artist said...

That food is just so wonderful and just my type of food. Look forward to trying out both recipes.

Good to hear about the `swimming Zeepies' being so flexible. With water becoming scarcer we will all need to be equally resilient.

6:07 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

l.l.- here is a wonderful post about spirituality and "wildernesses" by harbour of ouselves: http://paulwchambers.blogspot.com/2007/04/contemporary-monasticism-margins-of.html

it seems to be a theme of late- thought you would appreciate.....

9:54 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

These are great thoughts, LL! I've never heard of the swimming zeepies before. That's probably because your daughter made it up. :)

Reading about the zeepies' resilience got me thinking. Is it really that we should (or do, which may really be what you're saying) emulate this resilience -- even to the point of conforming into something else? Is water their natural habitat? Do they thrive more beautifully in that place? If they're transferred to someplace else, is it really good, even if they live on?

I'm asking this because I'm trying to think through the application to ourselves. (See -- just like you said: nature can teach us much!) When our water dries up, so to speak, what happens? Or, more to the point, what is God trying to do in us, and what response does He seek?

Is it that He intends for us to fly up on the breeze of the wind and form new life in a new environment? Or does He actually want us to die for lack of water so we can be birthed anew?

I'm just not sure the point is to morph into something altogether different in an altogether different environment.

I am sure you will have some thoughts on this. Please share!

10:40 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Ooh ... this reminds me of the lichens too. Those are resilient little organisms, able to withstand drought, able to live plants, rocks, or in the soil, able to live in extremes of temperature.

Maybe it's that while we are in our wildernesses God is preparing us for something completely new? Maybe that's the point of being in a place where we wait on Him & Him alone - He is preparing us to receive something altogether new.

And I have to say ... I'm with BMM. I get hungry when I come here too. Yeay - I can have this recipe!!

1:09 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Artist... hope you enjoy the food! Ah, water... I fear we can't do without it like the "swimming zeepies" do.

Blue... thanks for the link... I'll try to get to it this week.

Christianne... yes, of course all analogies break down (as our good teachers tell us they do). I think that resilience is the centerpiece, resilience based on relying on our God... that Spirit, who like the wind, blows where He will. We don't know where He comes from or where He goes. And, if we have to dry up in some way, in order to ride the wind to His new place of blooming, then so be it.

Kirsten... I agree with the thought that perhaps He prepares us to accept something altogether new. And I think that differs from running here and there trying to fill the emptiness with our own new things, designed to buffer pain or distract or substitute (which I think, Christianne, might be what you were noting we sometimes do, in our self-driven attempts to be resilient?).

11:43 AM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

a couple of food questions:

when you steam veggies(i have a bamboo steamer), what makes a good seasoning for them? i tend to steam broccoli, cauliflower, and squash, but it's kind of bland plain.

also, in the potato/broccoli recipe, what is parboil? just boiling in water? and how much olive oil do you layer with?

5:27 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...


Broccoli -steam with fresh minced garlic; add a good pour of olive oil, salt and pepper, and you should be happier.

Cauliflower- steam with fresh rosemary; add olive oil, salt and pepper. Or, it is better roasted for 5 minutes in a 450 degree oven, with canola oil, salt, pepper.

Squash- add a little fresh sage, salt and pepper, olive oil.

Parboil- to boil so it is partially cooked (before it falls apart)

Olive oil- just pour in lines back and forth. I never measure.

5:57 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

thanks, l.l.! :)

1:08 PM  

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