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  • Perspective


    I went up to the mountain because you asked me to…

    The Crystal Bowersox song played in my mind as each step carried me deeper into the rugged and untamed wilderness of Colorado. I scouted for the location of my 24-hour solo. Twelve remarkable women from different corners of the country converged in the wilderness for four days to commune with nature and unplug from screens and the outside world. We exchanged stories, reflections, feedback, and dreams. Afterwards, our wilderness experience involved a 24-hour solo period of fasting and contemplation during which each of us embarked on a deeper individual journey into the wild. The undertaking held a profound significance for me; it was a mission planned and prepared for me way before I said yes.

    I found a tranquil spot on the edge of a forest that rolled into a meadow for my solo. It offered a breathtaking view of a lake surrounded by majestic mountains, towering pines, and graceful aspens. This sojourn served as one of three rites of passage I planned for entering my sixth decade on this earth. I have anticipated entering my sixties with mourning the loss of youth. The prospect of slowing down, enduring physical discomfort, and feeling irrelevant weighed on my mind. This expedition was an opportunity to reconnect with nature, attune to my inner voice and my God and conduct a retrospective review of the remarkable decades that have shaped my life. I chose a different log to represent each of the five decades of my life and spent time traveling to and sitting with each one. I shared appreciations, resentments, and regrets for that decade. I celebrated achievements, grieved losses, extended apologies, and let go of what no longer served me. My life review was mixed with singing, dancing, prayers, and drumming. Although I fasted, I experienced fullness in deep gratitude, joy, and liberation.

    Synchronistically, as I contemplated the completion of my fifth decade, the sky darkened and the resounding echoes of thunder and lightning urged me to seek refuge in my shelter because hail began to descend. Thank you tiny tent for once again protecting me from the elements!

    Once the storm passed, I returned to my perch overlooking the lake; the absence of the sun left me chilled. I scanned the surroundings and discovered a patch of sunlight a few feet away behind me. Without hesitation, I grabbed my pad and sat down to luxuriate in the warmth of the sunlight. The view from this newfound vantage point was nothing short of awe-inspiring and captivating. The majestic snow-covered peaks took my breath away. I rested and absorbed the sun’s nurturing rays.

    When I first arrived, I couldn’t see this majestic backdrop due to my own limited perspective and I had also failed to see the beauty of what lay ahead. But as I contemplated the decade to come, nature spoke to me. The mountain range was always there behind me. I was so focused on the vista  before me, overlooking the lake and the nearby mountains, that I had failed to fully appreciate the grandeur just behind me. The grandeur patiently awaited my attention. It had always been there—beauty, majesty, wisdom– all steadfastly weathering the ages of time.

    In that sanctuary of the wild, surrounded by panoramic views of majestic mountains, I realized some of life’s most exquisite treasures were yet to be unveiled, and my duty is to remain open and receptive to their arrival. I renewed a pledge to take care of my body so I can keep pace with the wonders that awaited. A vivid movie reel played in my mind, depicting the celebrations that the decade would bring: children’s weddings, the arrival of grandchildren, and the acquisition of more wisdom and patience.

    Hello 60’s and YES PLEASE!



    Dr. Sonya Rodriguez is driven by a passion to share the “Awe and Aha’s” that nature bestows upon us. She is available for in-home family intensives, in parks, walk and talks, wilderness excursions, and travel with intention.