Merida with bow and arrow, Brave movie

“If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?” – Merida, Brave movie

Yesterday I was wracking my brain, trying to think of something FUN that Leah and I could do for a field trip for her last homeschool day before she graduates tonight. I had googled Missouri, Kansas, homeschool field trips, events, you name it. We’ve been to so many places in Kansas City NUMEROUS times, such as the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, the Kansas City Zoo, Science City, Union Station, Powell Gardens, etc.

What could we do that was different and which would make Leah smile big and have a sweet good memory of our last day homeschooling? I wanted to end homeschooling on a great note. Then the idea came to me: go to the animated Brave movie and then eat lunch out afterward!

It was God-inspired.

Excellent movie! I highly recommend it. And Leah really liked it. The story is of a girl with flowing red hair on the thresh of womanhood named Merida, who is a Scottish princess and an aspiring, skilled archer. She protests against the expectations of royalty’s tradition (marrying a suitable lord after a sports competition for her hand),

Merida makes a reckless, foolish choice to try to change her mother the queen (who has been training and preparing her for years to be a “proper” princess and for marriage), and her rash decision results in chaos and near destruction of the kingdom.

I loved red-haired, high-spirited Merida, her big black horse, the beautiful scenery in Scotland, the Scottish music, the spiritual symbollism of archery (prayer, intercession, prophecy), the humor, and the realistic story of a relationship between a girl and her mother. The movie is about the importance of family and of a young woman creating her own destiny, which I felt was an appropriate theme for Leah’s graduation tonight.

Leah is a lot like Merida – strong-willed, independent, passionate. I laughed at the frown on Merida’s face when her mother would say things like, “A lady does not place her weapon on the table” and “Princesses don’t bite into their apples.” Despite my attempts at “training” Leah, she often insists on her way about doing things, choosing a new path.

When the queen helped Merida to dress for the special occasion of the suitors’ games, Merida felt restricted in her tight dress and headdress and she gasped, “I can’t breathe!” “You look perfect!” the queen said. Seeing her daughter’s discomfort and misery in the dress, she admonished as she left the room, ‘Just remember to smile.”

Tears sprang to my eyes several times during the movie as I recognized Leah and myself in the daughter and the mother characters, as Merida ran her black horse (reminding me of Leah’s horseback riding and horse show winner days), and as she used her gift – her bow and arrow against an enraged black bear (the ancient prince Mor’du).

As I watched Leah smiling at times through the movie, I prayed a prayer of thanks to God for leading us to this movie to close out her homeschool years. I also felt it was prophetic for her life – the bow and arrows, the horse, the blazing of her own trail.

Ride like the wind, Leah. Touch the sky. And remember to smile.

Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led. – Brave movie (Pixar)

Video of Touch the Sky (Julie Fowlis)

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