“Once in those very early days my brother brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make it a toy garden or a toy forest. That was the first beauty I ever knew. What the real garden had failed to do, the toy garden did. It made me aware of nature—not, indeed, as a storehouse of forms and colors but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant….As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden.” – C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
I have a passionate love for miniatures, and I understand completely the enchantment of this tiny garden. When I was young, I used to play with a hose at the base of a tree that had a very complex sets of roots. I’d make pools, waterfalls, and gardens there.
For you Tolstoy fans–this passage also reminds me of how Tolstoy’s older brother told him about the hidden green stick that contained the secret that would bring happiness to the world. “This secret he said he had written on a green stick buried by the road at the edge of a certain ravine, at which spot (since my body must be buried somewhere) I have asked to be buried in memory of Nikolenka.”