When traveling, we take ourselves out of our everyday world and there’s a good chance for synchronicity to occur. That was the case when Barbara, a British woman, journeyed to Lisbon. Here is her story.
I was on my first visit to Lisbon at Easter 2000. My Canadian friend Mary lives there and on Easter Monday, we were at her local station to get a train into the city, then a bus to Sintra. As it was a holiday, locals were queuing up to renew their travel passes. Mary asked me to keep our place in the queue while she went to check the timetable.
I noticed the woman standing in front of me. She had a dark complexion, wore her dark but greying hair in a ponytail and was probably in her 50s. She had a slight gypsy look about her, and was holding two Birds of Paradise flowers. She was probably going to visit someone, taking these as a gift. I was attracted to her because she so strongly reminded me of my great-grandmother (my maternal grandmother’s mother), whose name was Albertine DeVille. I never knew her as she died in 1925 but I had seen a couple of photos of her, and had one of these of my own.
I was curious enough about this woman to wonder what her name was, so bent my head over to look at her travel pass, which she was holding down by her side, to see if her name was on it. It was quite clear. Her name was Albertine.
Mary returned from the timetable to see me gaping at her and pointing at the woman, who was oblivious to all this. I told Mary the story and we went to get our train. Albertine was going in the other direction, and I managed to take a couple of photographs of her.
In the evening, around 5.30pm, Mary and I were back at her local station, about to call her partner to come and pick us up (their flat was about 30 minutes’ walk from the station). As Mary turned from the phone, Albertine appeared, minus her Birds of Paradise.
The follow up to this was that in 2006, after some lengthy research on my mother’s side of the family tree, I discovered that Albertine’s father was of Spanish-Moroccan Sephardic Jewish origin and the original family name had been De Levante. I tracked down reference to a De Levante who had been living in Lisbon in the late 1800s.
It’s one of those inexplicable stories and it’s hard to define a purpose for events like this. What are your thoughts on this?
Like attracts like, and maybe a nudge from the spirit world. Other thoughts?