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 colours but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant. I do not think the impression was very important at the moment, but it soon became important in memory. As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother's toy garden. CS Lewis, Surprised by JoyLittle worlds inside terrariums are quite the craze right now. They are very beautiful, though notoriously difficult to keep alive. It's funny how things go around - I remember doing a holiday class to make one out of a soft drink bottle when I was a little girl.
Image source here
Also popular (and quite clever and adorable) are the tiny scenes created by such artists as slinkachu on blogs like these. How might tiny people interact with our world, were they to exist? Such a delightful thought!
Image by artists Pierre Javelle &Akiko Ida
Then there are tiny, intricately-systemed and stunning worlds all around us to which we are mostly oblivious; many of which would terrify us if we happened to be even tinier! All the sci-fi in the world couldn't come close to some of the tiny beasts we live with every day.
Image source here
Are you feeling inspired yet? Why not create a tiny world of your own? It needs not be perfect. Choose a picture from a favourite story book, or a work of art, and use it as a springboard to create a scene of your own. Perhaps you could make a diorama, or try your hand at a terrarium, or create a small garden with stepping stones to help a small child count down to their birthday or another significant event. A little person or animal could move along a step for each day or week until the event. While your children are out you can set up a small scene, such as a farmyard, to inspire their play when they get home. Or perhaps you could serve them their sandwich at lunch with a cow munching at it from the side!
Jack's beach scene, inspired by Ellioth Gruner's painting The Beach,1918 (Below)
Our (Blurry) lent garden, to count down the weeks until Easter, when the children will awake to find it decorated with flowers and blossoms and a stone that has been rolled away.
When you think of the earth suspended in this vast universe, are we not ourselves part of a tiny world, full of tinier and tinier worlds, all of God's own making, and for his own joy?