I just had to give a shoutout to this incredibly beautiful movie, despite my still aching shoulder. “Dare to be Wild” is an Irish Indie film from 2015 about the landscape designer Mary Reynolds who set out to change the world with her wild garden designs inspired by ancient Celtic beliefs.
If you are, like me, a bit tired of documentaries telling us how we have messed up the planet and how evil people are, leaving you with the feeling that we might as well just lay down and die, then this movie is the perfect opposite to that. It is a film full of hope, giving us ideas and inspiration on how we can help celebrate and care for our wild nature.
Mary Reynolds grows up in wild Ireland where she roams freely around with the fairies. She develops a profound love for trees, plants, flowers, and everything wild and green, and when she grows up she wants to inspire other people to feel the same love and nearness to nature, so that that love can bloom into a willingness to care for and nurture our wild places.
But in order to reach out to people she needs exposure, she needs an arena where she can be heard, so she signs up for the Chelsea Flower Show, hoping to win people over with her old Celtic garden designs. But she is just one young girl, with no one to help her or raise money for her. How will she manage to even put a garden together? Well, by believing it has already happened…
I fell completely in love with this movie! I pretty much had tears in my eyes from start to finish. This is the kind of film I have been waiting for! A positive, celebratory film that inspires us to love and care for nature and wildness, not to cower away in fear. A film that gives us solutions, and not just problems.
I highly recommend this gorgeous movie to everyone, but especially for those who, like me, love flowers, nature, wildness, trees and forests!
P.s I have always watched another movie with somewhat the same theme, the Oscar nominated “Captain Fantastic” with Viggo Mortensen in the lead. It’s good, and it certainly makes you think, but it is much rougher and much more American than the beautiful “Dare to be Wild.”
The old Norse people believed there was a fine balance between chaos and harmony, and that sometimes chaos had to erupt in order to bring about change and reclaim a new harmony. In such chaotic times, the “Jotne” (the giants) and the gods would fight, some gods would expire, but new heroes would arise, and those heroes would bring about the new harmony. The ultimate chaos was called “Ragnarok”. This was the time when the snake that kept the world in place would die, and all borders would fall.
I think we all go through such battles in our lives, be it an interior battle within ourselves, where chaos threatens to bring down our old beliefs and habits, or an exterior battle; chaos and unrest in the world, when humanity itself is plunged into chaos, and have to find new ways of life to cope with the disrupting changes, and to eventually restore harmony again.
Sometimes, where we are planted, is not where we will blossom. Having been given feet, it is up to us to journey to where the soil gives the kind of nourishment we need to grow to our full potential. Let us encourage such pilgrimages, not clip each other’s wings, and force iron bars around the soul.
In old Norse Sagas there is talk about the need for both roots and feet. Somewhere to belong and somewhere to explore. The Vikings thought these were primal human needs.
To me, nature; trees, ocean, mountains, are my roots, and art; music, poetry, literature, are my feet. I need them both to feel complete and fulfilled.