Synchronicity – messages from the Universe

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Sandra Parnis - Chapters of LifeYou know, sometimes you have crazy moments in life from the most unplanned and innocent situations. Moments where you shake your head and go WTF? I recently had such a moment and it was so synchronistic I have to share it.

noun: synchronicity
  1. the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.  “such synchronicity is quite staggering”

My mate Rick and I had scheduled a Sunday afternoon to go kayaking, something we try and do every 2-3 weeks. Rick’s my kayaking buddy and we’ve turned it into a bit of a ritual. He brings the kayaks, and we take turns providing bubbly and nibbles for when we park up and have a natter.

On this particular Sunday the weather was suspect and couldn’t make up it’s mind what it was doing so we decided to catch up anyway and take our bubbly and nibbles to a picnic area instead.

We found the perfect sheltered spot, away from the wind and looking out to the harbour. As we made our way to the picnic area, we passed a man and his dog and had a brief conversation with him to be friendly.

Having got ourselves settled at the picnic table, bubbly open and poured and nibbles spread out, we started our conversation and were praising our choice of perfect spots for our catch up.

We were less than 10 minutes into our conversation when the guy with the dog wanders over and plonks himself down on the other side of the table, lights a cigarette and starts talking to us.

Turns out he and another guy live on a small island in the middle of the estuary/harbour across from where we were sitting. Apparently the local council know about them but have no problem with it. They have 5 tents making up their ‘home’, no running water or toilet facilities (I am very surprised the council allows this). This guy had been there since June, it was now December.

I don’t know if he worked or was on the dole but he had enough money to buy smokes and was a chain smoker cause every time he finished one he rolled and lit another. We had a lively conversation and he seemed quite knowledgeable about a wide range of things. He had travelled a bit and had worked in Australia and around NZ.

The conversation was lively, although at times got inappropriate. I took it all with a pinch of salt and just as I was about to tell him to pull his head in the subject got changed onto other things – like spirituality and argon energy!

As we were talking (and I was wishing he would bugger off), we had another visitor to our table. This is the part where I’m thinking WTF?

Another male – tall, grey, and distinguished looking joined us. At first I thought he was Indian, but he then informs us he’s Iranian. He asked Mr Inappropriate for a cigarette and produced $1 in change to pay for it, which was humbly declined.

We then had a conversation about religion, and the difference between Christianity and spirituality – I know, dangerous territory here! Mr Iran was living in the motorcamp across the road. He had moved down from Auckland because it had been too tough up there for him. He only stuck around about 10 minutes and then was gone again. Mr Inappropriate stayed another half hour or so and then he and his dog left and waded over to their island home.

Rick and just I looked at each other, shook our heads and laughed. How on earth did we attract that mix!? But it was amazing. It was an unexpected and quirky twist to our day. A moment in time I know we will bring up and laugh about in years to come.

As we were sitting there, we watched a woman and young boy wade over to the island, disappear for 5 minutes and then wade out again. We thought they must have been friends of the inhabitants.

When they came back over to our side they went and sat in the ‘hot pool’ that has been made by the bank where the overflow of thermal water from the hotel across the street flows and is captured by man-made polythene and rocks to form a natural little hot pool. Rick and I knew about this special spot as we’d launched our kayaks from there earlier in the year and got a very pleasant surprise with the lovely warm water lapping around our legs.

As we were leaving we stopped and talked to the woman and her son. She told us they do geocaching and had been to the island looking for ‘treasure’ but had no luck. They too were living at the motorcamp as they were having trouble finding a rental to live in that they could afford. She was a teacher and they had had to move from their last place.

This made me feel guilty. Here I was living in a 3 bedroom house (all be it small), paying very reasonable rent, in a good area. There’s only me and there’s families out there not being able to find good accommodation.

I said to Rick as we drove away, “I have no idea what this afternoon was about but there’s a message in here somewhere”.

As we drove up the road we passed a school. There was something written on the wall that caught my eye.

I said to Rick, “Look at that, that’s our message”, and asked him to turn around so I could get a photo.

This is what I saw. This was our message for the day:


Be thankful

We had met 4 people in the space of 2 hours who had no home of their own. All were facing hardships and fears but all were friendly and open.

I am very thankful for that afternoon, that message. I have a job, I have a good roof over my head and plenty of food for my table. I have a reliable car and I am healthy.  I am comfortable and safe and I have good friends and family. What else is there? It’s simple really but oh how we take it all for granted…

In the tumultuous world we now live in, we have much to be thankful for. Please take a moment to think about what you have, and give thanks.


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  1. Thank you for the reminder, Paula.

  2. I love this, Paula! What a lovely story. I’ve had situations where you just think – what was that all about? And then the penny drops and you realise why the situation happened – or what lessons you can take from certain situations, simple as they may be. This is a particularly lovely lesson. Be thankful. 🙂

  3. You have to be a certain kind of person to hold peoples stories, and you got a whole lot in one afternoon. Such a great story Paula! I find that sometimes the most annoying characters, teach me the most in any given situation. But there is something special about connecting with complete strangers who trust you enough to share. You must have seemed like a really friendly couple of people.

    We are in Ireland and it is cold and wet and there are a lot of people sleeping rough. I am thankful that I have a warm roof over my head that I can count on every day of the week.

    • Absolutely Serena! It’s my belief that if we are ‘open’ then people are attracted to that and trust it, giving them the feeling it’s ok to share…it was certainly a very interesting day, one I’ll remember for a very long time! And yes, definitely a huge reminder to count our blessings!

  4. This is such a cool story. It’s amazing the people you meet and what we can learn from them. I’ve definitely had synchronistic moments in my life that I felt couldn’t just be a coincidence. What a great lesson to be thankful and something I often forget to do.

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