Journal Entry, March 28, 2015 – Nile River, Egypt
The blazing sun shines brightly into my eyes and all I see is white until they come back into focus. Suddenly I see a display of magic. The feeling of this place is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Some call it craziness, others peace, I love to call it paradise. Yes, that’s the perfect word for this oasis from the world, and a journey into the country’s distant past.
The Nile River beams out in the distance – an eternal flow of water, a never-ending dream, drifting along the waves – bringing the present forth into the future, creating the past of today and yesterday. The green gleaming waves twinkle softly with the bright Egyptian sun, as if saying hi to one another, their friendship almost as old as death himself.
The waves slowly brush up into the bulrushes which seep out of the waters, the animals lurching in and out through these reeds unknown to the surface world. Palm trees sprout happily around the banks, some grouped, some alone, the ones in solitude reflecting on the past of this ancient river.
Back in between the sea of palm trees are villages and nomads, maybe artifacts and lost treasures, a glimpse back into the past for generations of children dreaming of a future. The fields which seem to carry on for eternity are patches of green, their workers taking good care, thankful for the Nile’s supply
For so many thousands of years this river has been the creator of life itself, as if everything ever made sprang from its depths. The trees, the plants, even the moon and the stars reflect themselves off of its ripples like a mirror, a distant reflection of a once bound legacy. What secrets and treasures are at the depths of these mysterious waters? How many stories untold could there be?
I peek out of the boat to take a closer glimpse, hoping to see a shimmer or a hint of a past presence right where I was. All I see is a reflection of a girl just like me, my shadow staring back, yet somehow so far away, as if slowly sinking into the dark waters, I will just become another tiny part of the river’s long past. I will soon fade along with ancients into a timeline of people and lives, their stories never truly remembered yet somehow still living in these waters.
I can picture the ancient Egyptians, rowing their long wooden boats, the statue of Amon-Ra, the god of all gods, sitting gently on a table found at the very center, the high priest taking close care of this precious statue which was believed to hold the god himself. I can see the rowers, exhausted, and with every move their bodies ached with pain from the long journey down the eternal river.
As I sit up on the top of the deck, I can see their shadowy images of the boat and the statue, as if they are still there, repeating history over again, another 3000 years later. How many lives have come and gone since this river started to flow? I imagine the faces who have seen these very banks, their smiles or tears, now just fading waves brushing up on the shore.
The Ancient Egyptians believed in many gods, each with a certain role, protectors of life or death, writing or destruction. I couldn’t help but feel the presence of past beliefs. As I looked out at the Nile, I could see how the Egyptians created gods representing the river and nature, so harmonious and perfect that no other theory would compare.
The sun now is steaming and I look up at it as it looks back down at me. I imagine the Egyptians looking up at the sun, but not picturing a ball of fire out in space like I do, but a god or a being himself. The sun was their source of life and it controlled the earth, rising and setting in it’s own patterns, like a parent constantly watching over it’s many children from the sky.