Saturday, November 22, 2008

(1) The Shield

I had bought myself a small camper as a "retirement" gift,
figuring I would have some spare time to take some trips.
Wasting no time, I piled my gear into the camper and set
off for the Kings Canyon National Park. Situated at the
southern end of the Sierra Nevada mountains, it was home
to some of the planet's largest trees--the Giant Sequoias.

The highest elevations at Kings Canyon can range up to
13,000 feet. And I was coming to that idea when driving
up a steeply inclined highway that led into the park. On my
way I spotted something that made me pull over at a lookout
point. There I stood, looking down at the deep valleys,
and the billowing clouds were floating far *below* us! It
was like I was standing still in an airplane--but here I was,
on land, peering at these clouds deep down over the valleys.
All I could say to myself was "Wow!"

Upon reaching the park, yet another "wow" was forthcoming.
There I was walking amongst the Giant Sequoias, one of the
different forms of redwood. Talking to a ranger, he mentioned
that these mammoth trees could range in height up to 300
feet and could be as large as 24 feet in width. And they also
had a giant life span. These big trees could really put us
puny humans in our place, when it comes to comparisons.

This ranger also pointed out a Sequoia "two-some," if you will.
Oft trees will compete for space; but these two big fellows
somehow decided to cooperate, blending their root systems,
gathering nourishment and energy together. And they
flourished quite nicely! All I could think, once again when
I observe natural systems, is that there surely is a form of
intelligence that they exude. In particular, these two Giant
Sequoias chose to adapt and survive by cooperating rather
than competing! Interesting, most interesting.

Besides the Sequoia trees, there were also large conifer forests
at Kings Canyon. My designated camp ground was near these
evergreen trees, near the higher ridge-lines. After a couple of
wonderful days hiking, yet always taking care to watch out for
black bears in the area, I decided to relax near a sturdy precipice
looking down towards the valleys.

Leaning against a rock wall, suddenly the light seemed brighter.
There sitting before me, with arms stretched out toward the sky,
was a young Indian brave. There seemed a luminous glow all
around him. Agape, then and there, in my mind's eye, I was
made to understand that I was looking at *my self* as this
young Indian of centuries past.

Before me, before the young brave, up out of the clouds emerged
my ancient Indian spirit guide. He held a warrior's shield, which
he presented to the young Indian. Painted on the shield was an
eagle's head, sun streaked with golden colors --and this eagle
was hovering over a green globe, rapt with attention.

Then the vision was gone! I was awe-struck, barely able to move.
When I came to my senses, I had to wonder whether the high
altitude had affected me. But having had visions literally all my
life, I decided that I best accept this really special vision that I had
just experienced.

What could it mean, this vision? Was I this young Indian brave in a
past-life? Not having dwelled much on the subject of reincarnation,
I was a bit surprised by this line-of-thinking. Still, I had to wonder.
Perhaps my Indian spirit guide has been with my soul through many
"incarnations," including that of the young warrior. Perhaps this
might also be an explanation for my persevering inclination towards
the American Indian. Wandering back to camp, I still remained
dazed with all sorts of strange ideas soaring through my mind.

Above all, what did the shield mean? What did the drawings
depict? With these questions racing around, I decided to head
for home and try to find out more when it came to Indian symbolism.

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