Life’s Bread Crumbs

Life’s bread crumbs are events, people, personal experiences, intuition, messages, information, and creative expressions that bring understanding and meaning to our lives.

None of us knows when our actions may become life’s bread crumbs for someone else. Even the smallest act can have meaning beyond ourselves.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-400

Each of us is walking on our own life path. It is a unique experience created by how we entered this world… and is impacted by a myriad of factors that touch us throughout our lives.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm @ 10mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

As photographers we often find bread crumbs in the subjects that we photograph. We may feel the intense peace and tranquility of a scene. It can be a timely reminder that allows us to appreciate that  balance and serenity is possible in our lives.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 12.1mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-160

We may see something that confirms the interconnectedness of our lives with those around us. The interdependent nature of the human experience with our species and the environment in which we live.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 25.7mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-160

When we are young we perceive that we know and understand much more of the world around us than we actually do. It’s not until we realize that the amount that is unknown to us is directly defined by what we do know.. That’s when we truly begin to understand our lack of knowledge.

Think about how the diameter and circumference of a circle are related to each other. As we know, circumference equals diameter times Pi (~3.14). Our current knowledge is the diameter of our life experience. The circumference is what we are currently failing to comprehend and understand in our lives.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-400

Discovering life’s bread crumbs helps us recognize how limited our current view of the world is… as well as our place in it. We only absorb and experience a small sliver of reality.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 27.2mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-1600

To find life’s break crumbs we need to free ourselves from the shackles of pre-conditioned thought and dogma. As we age we need to stay adept at differentiating between belief and truly quantifiable facts. When we observe without judgement, we can experience the world around us as a small child does. Bringing awe and wonder back into our everyday lives.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-640

Using our powers of observation allows us to experience the intricate beauty of a single feather. And, more fully understand the contributions of others around us.

Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, f/8, 1/20, ISO-400

We can learn to appreciate how challenges and difficulties in our lives often lead to new beginnings and growth experiences. There is light at the end of many tunnels.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 54 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200

Our lives may begin in what appears to be a rough, ill-defined shape.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 60 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-1600

When we discover our purpose and our potential… our inner beauty, strength and creativity is unleashed. Becoming ourselves is one of life’s greatest treasures.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 69mm, f/5.6 1/8, ISO-3200

Each of us finds life’s bread crumbs in different things. It could be in the written word found in a wide variety of sources. The lyrics or musicality of a song may touch us at our core. The scene in a movie or on stage may elicit tears and other emotions. A brushstroke in a painting can nourish us. Learning about the hardships endured by others can be instructive and inspiring.

NIKON 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 25.7mm, ISO 160, 1/80, f/6.3

We may receive messages from the most commonplace of things. Things that somehow resonate with us… and help reveal more of our inner essence to us, and promote self-understanding.

Ring of Beara Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

We are alone… even when in a crowd. Our experiences may be similar to those of others… but never are they identical. None of us can completely understand how someone else has experienced an event in their lives. It is difficult enough for us to fully comprehend our own life experiences.

Belvedere House Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 13 mm, f/5.6, 0.8 seconds, ISO-3200

Many of us have experienced dependencies… or watched others close to us do so. Some of us have received urgent calls because a loved one was sick or injured. Perhaps we’ve faced illness or the potential of death directly. Visceral fears of loss can arise in our lives in an instant… and often immobilize us.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 13mm, f/8, 1/20, ISO-800

We make it through dark and desolate times. Afterwards, life can have a new and richer meaning. Our appreciation for the fragility of life deepens. We look around us, and take in a full, deep breath. Experiencing it as if it was our very first one in life. When we’ve come through adversity the sun can feel warmer. Smells, sounds, tastes and textures can overwhelm us.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 39mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-400

Life’s bread crumbs and the lessons they bring… can be found all around us… every day of our lives. Discovering one of life’s bread crumbs gives us cause to pause.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 48mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-160

When we focus on that pause rather than all of the busyness around us, something miraculous happens. We live the gift that is today. In that moment there is no yesterday… or tomorrow. The only thing that matters is Now. And continuing our journey.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. For those readers who are interested in calculating equivalent field-of-view, multiply focal lengths for Nikon 1 cameras by a factor of 2.7. This is the 1,260 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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4 thoughts on “Life’s Bread Crumbs”

  1. I ᴡanted to thank үօu for this fantastiⅽ
    read!! I definitely enjoүed every bit of it. I hɑve got you saved as a favorite to
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  2. Thanks Tom,
    you’ve explained very well you’re wonderful philosophical view of life. As I become older, I also see this approach to life becoming more meaningful.

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