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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Chain of Coincidence

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/20/2024
Posted: 4/12/2006
Page Views: 6057
Topics: #Spirituality #AlienAbductions
How I got the Universe to get me a date for my next Grand Canyon rafting trip.

By the time June rolled around, I had relented somewhat on my ultimatum to God. He didn't have to provide a lover, I decided, as long as I could find someone to use the already-purchased rafting trip in Grand Canyon. However, no one I knew could go. For once, even my kids all had jobs they couldn't get away from. Even my ex-wife was working!

I had gotten to the point where the pain in my gut was a solid, continuous ache. I could still function as a normal human being most of the time, but the gap in my soul where Steve had been still throbbed and demanded attention like an open wound.

I had a membership at what was then called the Executive Health Club. It had an extensive wet area, including a large Jacuzzi where a lot of members hung out and chatted. I had been talking about UFOs with a guy there, and the janitor overheard. Later he approached me and told me he had a friend who was very interested in such things. He knew the friend would like to meet me. I shrugged, and agreed. When the friend showed up at my door with a bag full of books, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. He insisted on loaning me a copy of The Celestine Prophecy and left.

The Celestine Prophecy

The Celestine Prophecy is one of those life-changing books that seemingly comes out of nowhere, makes the New York Times Bestseller List, is read and raved over by everyone, and eventually becomes a cliché for the decade. I had seen it everywhere but hadn't looked into it, and had no idea what to expect.

I started reading. The first premise presented by the book is that there is no such thing as random coincidence. Everything, everything, is part of a structure that guides us to live the lives we were meant to live. Coincidences, in other words, are messages to us from God/The Universe/All-That-Is/Whatcha-May-Callit. I decided to try it out when I had a chance. And the chance came almost immediately.

One of the abductees, Ann, and her husband invited me to go on vacation with them to British Columbia, and I accepted. We rented a couple of cabins on Cormorant Island in British Columbia, went whale watching and photographed the bald eagles that soared overhead. The eagle is one of the three totem animals I identify with; my spirit so longed to fly with them.

There were two other abductees with us, Aitan and Pete, as well as Pete's wife. The cabins were up the hill from a rocky beach. It was too cold to swim—I tried—and many days a fog shrouded the beach until late afternoon. It was very peaceful, however, even though all us abductees had extremely bizarre dreams each night—bizarre, but not terrifying. So we all thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

Whale watching in Alert Bay

One day Ann's husband took us all whale watching on a chartered cruise. It was a beautiful day as we headed for a pod of orcas that was known to frequent the sound. Unexpectedly, I was overcome by sleepiness and lay down in a cabin for a nap. While I slept, the boat encountered the pod and shut down its engines. To everyone's amazement, members of the pod came right up to the boat, so close they splashed some of our party. They did flips, spy hops, and basically put on quite a show. The captain of the boat stared, then ran for his camera. That suggested that this display was, in fact, out of the ordinary.

When it was over, I awoke. Everyone regreted that they hadn't awakened me, but I didn't mind. Although I remembered nothing, I had the strange feeling that, on some spiritual level, I had participated. Moreover, much later, it occurred to me to count this as a coincidence and try to read the message in it. I was sleeping through a significant event while feeling that I was nevertheless participating in it.

That message was reiterated when we left Cormorant Island. I had shot several rolls of film in this scenic place, including one at the beach during one of the foggy mornings. Ann's kids and I had been there when some sort of shapes seemed to manifest in the fog, just out of sight. I used up the roll that morning, so when I got back to my room I removed it from the camera and tossed it, from across the room, into my gym bag. I know it went in; I heard it. Nevertheless, that one roll vanished. I was in a fog and attempts to perceive the unperceivable with conventional means were fruitless.

Ann and her husband wanted to spend the second week touring Vancouver. In fact, they had even planned the week out for me. Ann handed me a copy of an alternative newspaper she had found and showed me an ad for a local gay bath, Fahrenheit 212°. Ann thought I might meet someone there, and insisted I take the paper even though I pleaded I wasn't interested.

A gay bath is sort of like a waterpark for homosexuals. They typically have one or more swimming pools, a hot tub or two, steam and sauna rooms, and, of course, showers. They provide a meeting and socializing place for gay men that's an alternative to the bar scene—especially appealing to guys who happen not to drink and may not even smoke. This bath bragged that it had a dozen showers.

I thanked her for the suggestion, but instead I decided to rent a car and drive the British Columbia countryside—and I decided to make it a Celestine Prophecy-type quest. I formulated my desire and presented it to the Universe: "I want a date to take to Grand Canyon. I will follow Your coincidences and allow them to lead me to the man I am to take with me." There was no room for options. But what I had read about synchronicity resonated with me; I had faith this would work.

I had no specific itinerary and no limitations except to be back in three days to meet Ann and Tom for dinner at a fancy restaurant they had selected. As I drove through the outskirts of Vancouver, my eye was caught by a very good-looking blonde guy hitchhiking; I pulled over to give him a ride. According to the book, anything that catches your attention counts as a coincidence. I was prepared to meet a lot of good-looking men!

Now, I didn't expect the hitchhiker to be "the" guy or even to be gay. I picked him up for the same reason a straight guy might pick up an attractive woman: It's just nicer to have a good-looking person sitting next to you while you drive, than not. And he was, indeed, not unattractive. "Where are you headed?" I asked.

He gave a destination a few miles ahead, and then asked where I was going. "I'm not sure," I said. "I was thinking of maybe finding a hot springs somewhere to soak in."

He enthusiastically recommended one near the mountain town of Lillooet. "It's terrific!" he said. "Every weekend, there's, like, eighty or so naked people hanging out around it!" It was in the middle of the woods, he said, and I would have to ask locally for directions. But he said it was popular with gay guys as well as straights; and I have no hang-ups regarding public nudity.

As soon as I dropped him off, I located Lillooet on my road map and headed North.

Fraser Canyon, British Columbia

It was a beautiful drive that passed right through the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Eventually I found myself in Fraser Canyon, an enormous ravine that was so wide the four-lane highway was built into its side. There was no other traffic, so I was steering rather casually, looking down into the canyon, when suddenly, on its own, my foot jammed hard on the brake. Startled, I looked ahead to see what had caught the attention of my subconscious to make me stop.

Bear in Fraser Canyon

There was a bear on the road, not twenty feet ahead of me. He looked at me with indignation. The bear is the second of my three animal totems. I had encountered eagles on Cormorant Island, and now a bear here in Fraser Canyon. For this chain of coincidences to complete, I knew that I would encounter a wolf, my third totem, before the adventure was over.

Totem animals are those which have a particular meaning to a person. It's sort of like planets in astrology. Each animal species has a specific significance. Native Americans believe that, when they appear, they bring that significance into the current experience. This is true of any animal, not just totems. Totem animals bring their significance into your whole life, not just your day or week. My totems, Eagle, Bear and Wolf are very powerful totems that bring great challenges as well as great gifts.

I arrived in Lillooet about ten o'clock that night. I tried to follow the signs to the only motel, but lost the trail in the dark and the confusion of miles vs. kilometers. Oh, well, I thought. This is the sort of coincidence I could expect to guide me on my way. Sure enough, when I pulled into a residential driveway to turn around, my headlights fell on a sign advertising the place as a bed and breakfast. I shrugged in acceptance, got out, knocked on the door, and said hello to the teenaged boy who answered.

"Do you have any vacancies?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "My mother's in town, but you can settle with her in the morning." And, with that, knowing nothing of me at all, he gave me a key to the house and to a downstairs room, and invited me to make myself at home.

It was late and I was tired, so I went right to bed. I did awaken during the night to find several short aliens standing around the room, but by now this wasn't even something to stay awake for, and I went back to sleep.

In the morning, when I emerged, I found the boy's mother in the kitchen making breakfast. "Good morning," she said. "You must be David."

"David?" I said, confused. "No, I'm Paul."

"Oh," she said. "My son must have gotten it wrong. No matter. Eggs? Bacon?" Her son had never even asked my name. So, if the Celestine Prophecy was holding true, I would encounter a David on this adventure.

While driving around trying to find the motel the night before, I had "accidentally" found the Canadian equivalent of the Forest Service. That morning, I drove back there to get the directions to the hot springs. However, the ranger wasn't encouraging. "Oh, that's closed," he said, flatly. "They found E. Coli in the water, so we had to close it. Boarded over and everything, eh?"

"Aw," I responded. "Too bad."

"If you're looking for hot springs, though, there's another in the area I can recommend. It's called Skookumchuck." And he gave directions to a spring that, while not featuring naked people, was surrounded by trees and rocks and sounded really nice. Since recommendations count as "coincidences", I decided to go there.

However, when I reached the railroad tracks that marked the edge of town, I did a double-take. There, walking alone on the tracks towards a small shack, shirtless, was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen this side of a movie screen.

He was blonde, muscular, fit and trim, with a frank, freckled face and a chest nicely decorated with a mat of fine, blonde hair. I couldn't have ordered a better-looking guy from a catalog. I had to talk to him. Besides, unexpectedly encountering one's physical ideal counts as a Celestine type of coincidence. The idea is, if it attracts your attention, it's something your subconscious recognizes as significant. So I parked the rental car and walked to the shack, behind which the man had disappeared.

And, yes, I was nervous. But Lillooet is a small town, and I just couldn't imagine any profit in a mugger's waiting behind a railroad shack for a potential victim. Besides, in this place, bed and breakfasts give guests the key to the house without even asking for identification, much less money up front. This obviously just wasn't a very dangerous place. So I did it. I followed the blonde.

On the far side of the shack I found him talking to three other men, one of whom was also shirtless. All four were in their mid-thirties and stunningly handsome. It was like falling into an International Male catalog. I hadn't actually planned what I would say, but the first thing that popped into my head was to ask directions to Skookumchuck hot springs. My blonde absently ran his fingers through the fuzzy coating on his chest as he gave me driving instructions. Then, he added, "You have bug repellant, eh?"

"Uh, no," I replied.

"Well, you'll need it. The mosquitoes are as thick as mud out there."

I nodded in the direction of a supermarket that was within walking distance. "Thanks for the warning," I said. "I'll pick up some Off before I go."


"It has to be—" and he named a particular brand, Muskol, one I'd never heard of. "That's the only one that stinks enough to repel our mosquitoes."

"I think Off actually attracts 'em, eh?" one of the other men joked, and they all laughed.

I thanked them, and bought the Muskol before heading out for the hot springs.

The springs were located some 35 kilometers from the paved road on a gravel track. I had to drive very slowly and it took a good hour to get there. When I did, I found the place to be deserted. The First Nations people who own the land it's on had placed fiberglass and steel tubs here and there, and run pipes from the spring into them. There are actually two springs about a hundred feet apart; one supplies water of about a hundred twenty degrees; the other, cold water. The tubs were each supplied from both springs and had faucets, so you could actually adjust the temperature to your liking.

The main tub at Skookumchuck hot springs.

I stripped and sank into the largest tub. Instantly I felt the charge of energetic water. The water in most hot springs is charged with Earth energy. I don't know what composes this energy, or how to measure it, but I can tell when it's there. Many other people can sense it too, which is why soaking in hot springs is such a popular activity. The energy raises your quantum frequency, and gods know that's what I needed. In the water, the pain in my gut diminished; and I knew that there my prayers would have special potency.

"Please, Universe," I prayed. "Let this pain go away. Let me forgive Steve and get on with my life. Let me find someone, the right person this time, so I won't have to be alone."

Suddenly, I heard footsteps. The tub I was in was under a lean-to roof that didn't quite come to the ground. Beneath the edge of the roof, I saw tennis shoes and the bottom few inches of blue jeans and, occasionally, a hand or two picking things up from the ground.

When the person came around the lean-to and saw me in the tub, he gave me a cheery wave; but I just stared. On his T-shirt was a beautiful painting of a wolf, my third totem. I instantly knew this was my Wolf, and I had to pay special attention to anything this young man might say.

"Are you the maintenance guy, here?" I asked, seeing that his hands were filled with minor trash: an empty pop bottle, a few bottle caps, an empty cigarette pack.

"Naw," he replied. "I'm a visitor, just like you. I just like to leave the place a little cleaner than I found it. How about you? Where are you from?"

"I'm from the States," I said. "But I have friends in Vancouver I have to meet for dinner later tonight."

"Tonight?" he said, raising an eyebrow just as I do when hearing something unlikely. "You'll have to hustle, eh? It's quite a drive."

"Well, I figured I'd just take…" and I described my proposed route to him.

He shook his head. "Full of construction," he said. "You'll never make it on time. You'd better take a shortcut." And he proposed an alternate route, which I memorized. When Wolf gives directions, it's wise to listen. "You'd still better hurry, though," he added. So, regretfully, I left the pool, slipped back into my clothes, got into the rental car and left.

The road to the springs was primitive. It was composed of sharp gravel. I suppose I'm lucky the car lasted as long as it did. In any case, the moment I hit the main road, one of the tires blew.

As soon as I got out of the car to check, I was surrounded by a swarm of vicious, biting mosquitoes. I hastily pulled the can of Muskol from the car and sprayed it liberally on myself. The mosquitoes backed off a healthy distance. "Wow!" I thought. "Good stuff!" And good thing I'd had it—though there had been no mosquitoes at the actual hot springs.

But the stuff did smell, and it was sticky. Every time a car went by, the road grit thrown up by its passing settled on my skin, hair and clothes and stuck firm. I could see why this Muskol wasn't sold in the United States, where we are less concerned whether a product works, than we are with its attractive aroma and claim to protect the skin from UV rays.

At least, I wasn't stressed over the flat tire. I knew that this kind of occurrence is part of the Divine Guidance of the Universe, and that it was all part of the plan.

Still, by the time I had mounted the spare and driven to the outskirts of Vancouver, it was clear I was going to be late for the fancy dinner with Ann and Tom. Worse, I simply couldn't go as I was, covered in road grit and reeking of Muskol. I had to get clean and changed, first. But where?

The original plan was for me to meet Ann and Tom at their motel and change there. But, when I tried calling their room, I found they had already left for the restaurant. No surprise; they had made the hard-to-get reservations days in advance and wouldn't risk losing them. But since I didn't have a key to their room, that meant I couldn't wash and change there. And I didn't have enough cash to get a room of my own. (I didn't have a credit card for personal use, and this was before you could count on ATM debit cards working everywhere.)

Fahrenheit 212°

My eye fell on the alternative newspaper Ann had given me. It was on the floor on the passenger side where I had tossed it. It contained the address for the gay men's bath, Fahrenheit 212°. Why not take advantage of it? It was only $12 Canadian, and with a dozen showers, I should have no problem getting the Muskol off me.

So I located the place, got a day pass membership, and entered. I got a locker and put my gym bag (containing clean clothes) and my Muskol-drenched dirty clothes into it. I then wrapped a towel around myself and set out to find the showers.

They were near the lockers and deserted, so I had my choice and gratefully set to work lathering myself up and removing the grit and grime from my body. As I finished, a good looking young man entered and began showering. As he did so, he kept sneaking glances at me and, finally, said, "Do I know you?"

I shook my head, "I don't think so. I'm not from Vancouver. My name is Paul; what's yours?"

"David," he said, and we shook hands. David. The loop of coincidences was closing. I wouldn't even be here now if I hadn't had a flat tire, that made me put on the bug repellent recommended by the good-looking man I saw after visiting the forest ranger place I found while looking for a hotel but instead located a bed-and-breakfast where I had been mistakenly called "David."

So, David and I started talking. We found each other attractive, in spite of the great difference in our ages. David, he said, was 24—only a year older than my son. But he seemed mature for his age, and liked the same kind of music as me…and, by the time I had dried off and gotten dressed, David, who was "between jobs" and was therefore available, had agreed to be my guest on the rafting trip in Grand Canyon.

The chain of coincidences had brought me my date to take rafting. I thought I had won. I didn't ponder too carefully the consequences of challenging the Universe. The Universe always wins.