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BellaOnline Literary Review
Snowy Bluebird by Carol Dandrade

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Non Fiction


Susan P. Blevins

My godmother and I arrived in Egypt for our annual jaunt a few days before we were due to sail down the Nile. After my mother died, Godmother Eileen and I grew very close, and went on vacation together once a year to places she had always dreamed of visiting.

One evening we were taken by bus through the bustling, polluted city of Cairo, to the Son et Lumière (Sound and Light) show that was presented on the Giza Plateau.

We arrived, and were led to a tiered viewing area overlooking a man-made lake set before ancient monuments, with the three mighty pyramids and the sphinx as the backdrop. We settled into our rather hard seats in the chilly night air, and enjoyed the moonlit towering columns of the complex of buildings. Then the lights came up and illuminated various edifices, the sphinx, the pyramids and the temples, and above stirring music a voice told the story of ancient Egypt, its religion, its pharaohs, and the building of the pyramids.

I was particularly entranced by the royal barges that I saw gliding across the lake, with women seated in the middle of them in the dress of ancient Egypt, and the boatmen standing tall and proud on the prow of the barge, poles in hand, wearing the traditional stiff-skirted costume and headdress of the time as depicted in the wall paintings of many of the tombs. I saw three or four barges shuttling gracefully across the lake, and was pleasantly surprised by such a lavish show.

After the spectacle finished, there was much chatter amongst the audience, and I commented to my godmother and other people nearby that I had especially enjoyed watching the barges gliding back and forth. They looked at me in astonishment. They had seen no barges on the lake, because there were none. I had been vouchsafed a brief glimpse through the veil of time of something that had happened some two thousand years earlier. A flashback to a previous incarnation, perhaps?

I was puzzled, and temporarily doubted my sanity, because I had seen them as clearly as watching a movie, and my comments provoked some very odd looks indeed! However, ever since my arrival in Egypt, and going into the pyramids and temples in particular, I had experienced a strong feeling of déjà vu. I had the feeling that I had ‘come home’, so in a way, this vision was no surprise to me.