First Nation's spirituality is something I know little about in depth, but I'm always fascinated to pick up the odd tidbit.
Although many (too many, perhaps) of the people I've discussed this issue with feel that modern society is too big and too complex to ever change at a fundamental level, I'm more convinced that the future of our current technological/medical/social/governmental/philosophical life is on a collision course with the old truths known to peoples of the earth.
My girlfriend and I are far from blameless when it comes to modern decay, but we are open to the act of change. We don't drive, we don't use products tested on animals, we've banned McDonalds and Wal-Mart and their subsidiaries, we've both participated in fund-raising for charity (ones we believe in), and we're militantly vegetarian. There are plenty of things we could be doing to improve our position within the environment (buying more local food, using less electricity, volunteering more, etc.), but we're trying to take it slow. So that when the changes become mandatory it's less of a system shock. We both grew up poor, but Simone grew up without TV, and I think it left her a bit more unaffected than most girls her age.
So it was that on the morning of our fifth anniversary, we were lying in bed, and her head was tilted down, into the pages of a book. Watching her read, I became overwhelmed by the sense that she was wise beyond her years, and this picture of an "unpretentious princess" came into my mind.
I knew that would be the subject of my annual poem for her.
I wrote the above piece inspired by that vision of Simone, and I gave it to her while sitting in the audience at the first evening of the Ottawa Storytellers Festival that night. She liked it, but said she didn't like the word 'Mother' which is now 'First Spirit'. I could see her point, the poem (a sonnet, in case you missed it) was already using predominantly simplistic imagery, and it needed something more specific. After a little research I found that many of the First Nations mythologies begin with a First Spirit or First Peoples or what have you. And the change was made.
I don't like that I've injected the meagre bit of Christianity you see there, but what can you do? Damn syllables.