Growing up in south Philly, I learned some tough lessons from the men that guided me and as an adult I made the decision to learn from nature for guidance. I also had a desire to discover a sacred place for solitude; a place to process emotions and heal old wounds. Through the years I’ve come to acknowledge that spending time in nature by myself is neither an option nor a self-indulgence for me. It’s as important to my well-being as food or sleep. The solitude of backpacking goes a long way to restocking my capacity for sharing with others. Saints, mystics, and prophets have praised the gifts that solitude has to offer. It allows them to gain access to their truest self and to connect more deeply with the rest of the natural world.