Seeing the World In a Grain of Sand

“Looking closely at the commonplace things of nature that are found on almost any small family farm, one becomes aware of a quality of miracle and infinity about them.

The more one researches these small things, such as the purple-blue
violet I picked in the yard this morning and brought in to examine
under a microscope, the more clear it becomes that nothing on earth
exists totally separate and unrelated, and that every living thing is composed of ever smaller parts.

From the purple-striped deep tube of the violet’s petal a naturalist
could go on to an examination of the larger, related plant world, or a scientist could as easily discover the infinitely smaller parts of which the violet cells are composed. Either way, a thing as commonplace as an ordinary spring violet contains the essence of infinity.”

Rachel Peden

This reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ experience of something he called Joy, which he remembered first experiencing with intensity as a small child when his brother showed him a miniature garden he’d created in a biscuit tin:

“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.”

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