Let's look at the question of belief from a native American viewpoint. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to get a horse. Then I want you to go out to the forest,. I suggest Sequoia National ...
It's been probably 40 years since I've been able to spend any quality time with the forest. I've been here and there in other forests, but my real home is the ocean. It all started with the mountains, but it grew to be the ocean, my place of peace. I've been away from it for too long. Kinda hard to just pack yer stuff and move if you're disabled and living on SSI. But I have faith I'll get back. My home is Ventura, California. Best of both world. Right on the ocean and pocketed and surrounded on two sides by beautiful mountains.
Trust me, in a place like Sequoia National Forest, you can get far enough on a horse in one day to be hopelessly lost. I would not want what I say to be responsible for anyone being lost. In Northern California, the forest is more populated and watched. But in many parts of central California, like where I went, above Hot Springs, get off the state fire road and you're smack dab in the middle of a few hundred miles of wilderness, much of which genuinely has never been seen by man. That forest was like a second home to me, but even I didn't dare get too far away from my landmarks. Fortunately, I kept my horse Nosey at the cabin most of the time it wasn't winter, so even if I got lost, he could always find his way home. One of the really excellent things about a good horse. My grampa was a cowboy who raised quarter horses for a living. We kept several horses at the cabin, and it was my job in the summers and such to make sure they were fed and cared for. And I loved riding.
One of the really great things about forest wilderness like that is that when you see the sky, you SEE the sky. Most people haven't seen the sky clearly. The most common comments when they do see it that way is, "It's so big," and "I never knew there were so many stars or that it was so deep black and beautiful." It's pretty hard to grow up under that sky and not know that there's SOMETHING in this universe greater than we can really comprehend. It doesn't lend itself to logic. It can't be explained in words. It has to be felt and experienced. And the forest and sky and ocean are the very best ways I know to feel it. Perhaps because I'm Indian and that's always been our world, but I have to believe that that beauty and awe can touch anyone, no matter how hard their heart or closed their mind.