The Importance of Crumbs

The Importance of Crumbs

Whatâ??s so important about a crumb?

A crumb is something so tiny, something so unimportant that it is vacuumed away or swept into a dust pan.

My three-year-old daughter has always had a strange affinity for crumbs. I often find her running her little hand over them in the same way that she rubs a favorite blanket or stuffed toy.

I figured she might just be a tactile or kinesthetic learner like many children.

When I first noticed this habit of crumb-rubbing I asked her to explain the importance of her motions.

â??They are tiny, but they feel good under my fingers,â? she told me. â??Itâ??s like when you stick your feet in the sand or move your hand in water daddy. It just feels nice.â?

This made me consider the simplest and smallest of lifeâ??s textural pleasures.

Sometimes joy can reside in simplicity and in little common things that are often overlooked for things that glitter, shine or cost lots of money.

Another case in point comes from how babies react to birthday parties and presents. More often than not, it is a cardboard box or a swipe of the cake icing that brings out the greatest smiles.

How many times do we buy too much and then find ourselves longing for less?

When I speak to my friends in the autumn of their lives I often find that they seek simplicity from life, not more stuff. They often hope for more time, more true interaction with their families, more love, good health or spiritual fulfillment.

While on vacation in the Outer Banks my family attended a Mass at Our Lady of the Sea in Buxton.

The churchâ??s pastor gave an entire homily on the significance of crumbs in relation to Godâ??s gifts both great and small in our lives. He went on to expand on this by saying that any gift no matter what the size should be cherished.

All this talk of crumbs gave my daughter a twinkle in her little blue eyes and a knowing smile. She looked at me and said, â??You see dad, crumbs are important.â?

Crumbs can certainly serve as a metaphor for time or overlooked gifts.

I think it is human nature to focus on lofty dreams while complaining about our daily trials like traffic, work, bills or gossip. This is when we need to stop, breath and actually recognize the many small gifts that surround us each day.

In contrast, there are people in the world that would be happy to have your health, your motion, your family, your freedoms, your memories or perhaps the very crumbs that may fall from your plate.

We spend so much time and effort worrying about the past and future while the present pushes us along like a river current. We are often swimming away from one shore and towards another while the river pushes us along with its own twists and turns.

There can be negative crumbs and positive crumbs if we consider all the littlest things in our lives.

Sometimes a simple, positive word or greeting can change a personâ??s day or even life. The same goes for something negative. It all creates a ripple effect, a crumb or a seed.

Sometimes the littlest people can open our eyes to actually see the beauty of all lifeâ??s crumbs.

Marshall Conner is a regular contributor to the Culpeper Times. You can reach him at