The community members slowly gather around a roaring fire. Sparks from the massive blaze fly like fireflies into the starry skies as members of the clan drum and dance, call out to each of the members not yet there, teasing them saying, “Come. Prepare for our evening’s celebration. Let us honor the longest night of the year.” The children laugh and tag one another in and through their dancing parent’s legs. The teens flirt and giggle and whisper and flash beguiling smiles across the expanse of the community circle.
Big wooden bowls full of autumn’s harvest are passed among the members. As the foods pass each member, young and old, robust or infirmed, bless the foods and their good fortunes. Yes, times are hard. The Sickness has lessened their numbers; mothers, fathers, grandparents and those they treasure and love are passing on, beyond the Mists into the Eternal. But this family of community members are not defeated. They understand the Eternality of Life. They understand the cycles of life knowing they are finite expressions of the cycles of the One Great and Almighty Life.
As is tradition they pronounce that the wise woman, the one who holds the tales, who reminds them of who they are, take her rightful place, the wisest of the wise, and stand in their midst. She stands tall and slowly gazes at the members gathered in the circle, peering into their fire-illuminated eyes, while the shadows of the forest cradle them in a cocoon of safety. And compassion.
The forest, the unheard, listens and understands.
“My Beloveds,” she says while raising her arms overhead, opening her hands to the heavens, the crowd silent, respecting their elder. “We are from the One, the Ultimate One of Perfection.” The people nod, their eyes wide with recognition. Some have tears trickling down their cheeks, others smile gently, while still others lean into one another, head to head, basking in the truth of her words. “The One Great Mind of the Universe had the Infinitely delicious idea to explode Itself into a gazillion stars.” She chuckles with glee. Her feet move in circles, her arms swing, she is dancing with joy. “Dear ones, It chose to break apart into an infinite number of us. It wanted us!” she says while thumping the ground with her naked feet. Dust swirls blow up around her skirts. “It didn’t want to be by Itself so It exploded and multiplied, reproducing Itself as each of us.” The crowd chuckles, some are also on their feet, dancing in the Truth of her words. “Can you imagine, my Beloveds, it reproduced Itself by breaking apart into minute sparks, those sparks of Reality that reside in each of us, each of us a reflection of the Perfection It is.” She stops, turning her face upward and listens to the night sky. Then she turns to the forest and says, “You, too, my sentient beloveds. You, too.”
“The one Almighty Life resides in you my sweet young children and you Dear Mother,” she says pointing to the oldest of the old. “And you Dear Brothers and Sisters,” again pointing but this time to the strongest of the men and women who protect the flock, their community. “And you my darlings,” she says, pointing to the humble, the two-spirits, the intellectuals, and the savants. “You are the ones whose visions often enlighten the imaginations of our dedicated people.”
“Though we are minute expressions exploded from the One Source which is the Brilliance of All That Is, sometimes we forget. We bicker with our neighbors over foods or trinkets we do not have. We judge another for the way they dance and sway their hips at our ceremonies. We jealously guard our wares and creations worried our own possessions will not be enough. But my people,” she says and then stops. Carefully and slowly she looks into the eyes of each member, opening her heart, showing them the enormous love ever flowing through her into each of them. Over the years she had become known as the “Woman of Many Hearts.” Her heart had grown and grown to such a degree that the members trusted that she was one of the many emissaries of The One, emissaries who can and do surrender to the Truth.
“Though our loved ones are gone. Though many more are ill. Though our rations sometimes seem impossibly sparse, I beg you, remain together. Let us keep working together, serving one another. Let us continue to look into one another’s eyes and rest in the confidence our ancestors taught us. As I look into you, I am seeing me. We are of the One, we are One.”
They breathe. The dancing and feasting continues in an even more robust and earnest fashion. The children play, the drummers drum, the men and women and two spirits dance holding onto each other, and the teens practice finding love. Once more the Woman of Many Hearts speaks up asking the crowd to quiet for just a moment more. “The Sickness will go away because,” she says. “The Sickness will go away because we trust the ones who understand the stars. We have always trusted that the sick will be healed and restored to their origins because they are each of the One Life. Trust with me my Beloveds. We are of the One.”
Thus, the promises of the ancestors came true confirming that yes, their survival was ensured because they Believe. Because in believing they could see. Through the strength and visions of the ones who know the Truth, they surrendered to the Power that is theirs. And because they believed It, they could see it.
 A term sometimes used by Native North Americans to designate gay, lesbian, transgendered peoples.