From little things, big things grow. The figs are beginning to appear on my tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The figs are beginning to appear on my tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Fruit is a common metaphor in the language of change and progress. We talk of plans “coming to fruition”, and of ideas and movements “bearing fruit.” The underlying imagery is of good things growing from small beginnings. I find this comforting right now. Thinking about the issues facing our world — climate change, war, inequality, rampant corporate greed (to name a few)– makes me incredibly depressed. Yet at a personal level, in my daily life I experience compassionate, generous people doing their best to live a good life and tread lightly on our Earth. Sometimes, these good people come together, to work for larger goals. Sometimes, that’s enough to bear good fruit.

This post was written for Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s my Backpack. The title is from the Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song of the same name.

From Little Things Big Things Grow tells the story of how the Gurindji people of the Northern Territory of Australia sparked that country’s indigenous land rights movement. What began as a labour strike in 1966, became a much wider issue, and eventually resulted in an Act of Parliament granting title and some control over traditional lands to the local Aboriginal people.

“From little things, big things grow”

17 thoughts on ““From little things, big things grow”

  1. Reblogged this on Surprising lives and commented:
    Su, (of Zinnerbitch one of my all time favourite blogs) and I have a secret interest that we share. It is an interest in anthropology and related stories. This post in particular, is wonderful, it is interesting and inspiring. and


  2. I’ve just got up, a cup of coffee and started to read. What a refreshing way of starting a day reading your article! “From little things big things grow” is a beautiful reminder that we can bear fruit from any seed we plant, from any enterprise no matter how small it is. Thank you for sharing such inspiring words. It made my day!

    Adrian (… and in my head a voice is singing: from little things big things grow ,,, it is like a chant, isn’t?)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen ripe figs hanging from trees but never just “budded” (is that a word?) in the process of creation. I’m surprised to see that it’s almost sprouting directly from the tree! Figs are wonderful…and so is the video here. What an eye opener Thanks for posting it.


    • 🙂 I confess I had no idea that figs grew (sprouted) straight from the branch until we actually got a tree. They are wonderful to watch; unlike most fruit that hangs, they do a lot of their growing upright.


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