- Yasmeen Hossain
Go Home to Egypt! ..or.. How I returned to a place I had never been to before
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Excerpt from my upcoming book "Ancestors of Spirit, Ancestors of Blood - A Tale of Belonging"
Tears start to well in eyes, my skin is covered in goosebumps. How can this be? How can I remember a place I have never been to?
I stare at the picture infront of me. I gingerly hold the heavy book closer to my face, carefully examining the pillars, the shape of the roof in the picture. My body can no longer contain the intense emotions flooding through me and thick tears begin to roll down my cheeks. I read the caption below the picture “Temple of Isis at Philae, last Isis Worship Stronghold.”
I close my eyes. Immediately, a strong vision starts to form, I am wearing a white tunic, with symbols painted on my body. My sandaled feet clip-clopping as I walk through the hall. On all sides the ornate carvings in the walls depict images of birds, ankhs, papyrus, and lotus flowers.l;
Tears continue rolling down my cheeks, a continuous stream, now flowing faster and faster until a little sob escapes my lips. My chest feels heavy and tight, there is a big ball of grief, heartache, and an inexplicable longing lodged in the center.
Of course, the longing is not the only thing I can’t explain in this moment. I have never set foot in Egypt! That I know of.. maybe I was kidnapped as a baby and brought to Egypt for some inexplicable reason, but my parents rescued me and never told me so as not to bring up crazy childhood trauma?
This is the very first time I have even heard of this temple, let alone seen any depiction of it at all. How could a mere image in a book evoke these strong emotions within me? The sobs are coming faster now and my face is a mess of tears and snot.
“Sweety, I am home, where are you?” I hear a voice calling. I can’t answer, my face buried in my hands, my shoulders shaking. “Oh my goodness, what happened? Are you hurt?” my concerned husband exclaims as he rounds the corner and sees my miserable form slouched over having a meltdown. He rushes over and begins checking my legs and arms for what I’m sure he assumes should be gushing blood or exposed bones, based on my misery.
“I am ok..” I manage to mutter. My sobs have turned into hiccups and I try to catch my breath to explain to this wonderfully confused man what in the world is going on. This would be easier if I had any idea myself as to what is going on. I point to the book and the picture of the temple. “Uh-hu, did the book fall on your toe?” I shake my head and try to slow down my breathing, but renewed tears well up in my eyes. Oh jeez, how am I ever going to stop crying long enough to explain to him that I am suspecting a sneak attack of a past life memory, before he carts me off to a hospital? I close my eyes and take a deep breath, placing my awareness on my feet in an attempt to ground. “I.. was looking.. at this book,” I stammer, “and… I dunno [hiccup], I just felt this tightness in my chest.. and grief, lots of grief. I saw this temple, but I know this temple, it’s THE temple [hiccup].” Sobs and tears rack my body again.
He gently pulls me into a tight hug, his face a mixture of worry and helplessness. How to fix a wife who is grief stricken over a past life memory? Bet he wishes there was a handbook for that..
“So you aren’t hurt?” he confirms. “Not now, but then, I was hurt, they burned the building and killed us all!” I exclaim. He starts to have the my-wife-is-a-wacko look, and I know that I’m making no sense at all. I let him pull me closer and resign to just going limp in his arms while he strokes my hair. I cry it out, let all the emotion, confusion, frustration, fear run out of me and onto his shirt. When I finally seem to be running dry, I wipe my snot from my face and pull away gently.
“Oh man, it was crazy, while you were out, I decided to look at this great book about Egypt that I found at the used book store. You know, I have always loved all things Egyptian. I was happily looking at old vases, jewelry, spinxies (or whatever the plural of spinx is – wait maybe spinx already is the plural?), and then I turned the page and saw this picture of the temple of Philae and everything stopped. I felt sucked into the picture, like a twilightzone episode, I suddenly was there, walking up the temple stairs and into the great hall. This intense feeling of grief and longing overcame me. I don’t know how else to explain it other than, I know in my bones that in a past life I was there, I lived there, and something violent and very dark happened to me, to all of us.” I look into his eyes, hopeful that my explanation would help him understand how I am feeling. But then I remember that he doesn’t believe in past lives, not really, he is a rational, down-to-earth Capricorn man.
“I can’t say I know what that feels like sweety, but I can tell that you are really upset. What can I do?” I sigh.
If only I knew, or rather, if only there was a simple thing ‘to do’ that would fix this feeling of longing for a place I have never been to, of pain, of gut-wrenching heartache. In the back of my mind a voice says: But you do know…go to Egypt. Go home…to Egypt. Discover your spiritual place of belonging.
And so it begins. Actually, apparently, it began millennia ago, (quite literally) in another lifetime...
Hope you enjoyed this little excerpt from my upcoming book "Ancestors of Spirit, Ancestors of Blood - A Tale of Belonging." Sign-up to be kept in the loop about the release date, how to get your hands on it, book readings, and other juicy details!