Watching the movie "Wild" serves to remind us of the influential role mothers have on our lives and our efforts to meet their expectations of us. Based on a true story of Cheryl, the story shows her trek across 1,000 miles of America's rugged landscape on her own. Her motivation was to be the daughter her mother knew she could be.
The movie flashed back regularly to events from Cheryl's childhood with her mum, her abusive father and her brother. Her mum stood as a woman struggling with life and its meaning, seeking joy through making the most of the situation she found herself in, with her young children. There are scenes of them dancing in the kitchen and snuggling up in bed alongside scenes of fleeing the family home when their father was drunk and threatening to hurt them.
After Cheryl's mother died prematurely at the age of 45 Cheryl's life spiraled out of control for some time before she came across a book about the trail. Setting off without any training or experience of camping out in the wilderness Cheryl faced the daily challenges and learning to trust and befriend other travellers and people prepared to help her along the way.
Her commitment to completing the trek, of facing down her fears and letting herself take the time to be by herself and remember her mother and her mother's teachings, she was not only able to finish the trek but also became able to let go of people and troubles from her past.
The movie, while about a young woman's extraordinary physical and psychological journey across 1,000 miles, was just as much about the experience of being mothered and how this translates into who a person becomes as an adult. The story of her mother seen through flashbacks, her struggles, her efforts to protect and teach her children, also plays an important role that underpins the entire story.