I’m once again aboard the Queen of Cowichan, this time sailing back to my temporary home in Nanaimo. For the most part, the ferry is sparsely populated, but there are more strange animals lurking about on the 10:10 than there would be on an earlier sailing. I suppose that’s to be expected.

But how much could there be to tell after an overnight stay in Vancouver? Certainly, more than I would have thought. Some details I dare not tell for they may be more pressing and private than would allow me to share freely. Even without touching on those sensitive matters, there are some rather strange incidents to reflect on.

First and foremost, spending an evening with like-minded artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs in Maple Ridge was nothing short of a metaphorical electrical surge. It was everything I’d hoped for and considerably more.

I handed out all but one Clean Slate postcard in my possession, for the most part attempting to make personal, articulate, moving invitations. As the night wore on and everyone was starting to notice the time, it got to “You guys into live music?” but I managed to avoid such dribble for the most part.

Post-event, after dropping off a friend in Vancouver, I drove to my Airbnb in Burnaby. Finding said home, in the rain, in the dark, was the first obstacle to overcome. Once I found it, I followed the directions to the rear entrances.

I was supposed to be able to enter the premises (door A) using the code provided, but I tried about 10 times without any success. After each rep of five unsuccessful tries, the keypad would lock up for a couple of minutes. I must have tried another 10 times, making no headway with the lock or with reaching the host. My friend encouraged me to capture a video of me attempting to enter the suite before leaving, which turned out to be wisdom.

In the meantime, I was left with no other option but to book a night at a nearby hotel, at double the cost of the Airbnb. Though not entirely unpleasant, it was unexpected.

The following morning (today), I got a message from the owner of the Airbnb with a video showing them using the code, and successfully opening the door. It was at this point that I shared my video of me using the same code to try to get in, and the owner suggested I contact Airbnb support immediately to secure a full refund. They also offered me 30% off on my next stay (will there be a next stay after these shenanigans?).

Airbnb thinks all Canadians speak French, however, and I got connected to the “We’ll talk at you without knowing your language preferences” department. They could not help me – surprise, surprise. Fortunately, they understood me well enough to hand the matter off to someone who could do something about it. The matter ultimately got resolved in the background as I was packing up the room.

I got myself a smoothie and later visited Winners to find a tighter belt. I happened across Park & Tilford Gardens adjacent to the shopping center (pictured), which if you didn’t know was there, you’d almost entirely miss out on. The only reason I found it was because I had some time to spare and decided to walk around for a bit.

Park & Tilford gardens Strange occurrences Universe getting your attention

I spent the afternoon with a friend, before dropping them off at about 4:30. It was fun and relaxing, without drama.

Knowing I would be taking the 10:10 to Nanaimo, I decided to set up “coffice” in Starbucks. At 7:00, I had to transfer over to a 24/7 Tim Hortons to continue my work.

As I arrived in the parking lot and found a spot opposite the entrance, the man in the car next to me kept honking and glaring at me without saying anything. I had no idea what I could have possibly done to upset him, but I shook my head and moved my car. Parking next to him was the problem.

In retrospect, he may have been an undercover cop. I know because I’ve had one such run-in one night involving a small, ornery dog. But that’s another story for another time.

As I was working away at Tim Horton’s, a light fixture suddenly came loose and landed on my right hand. For a moment, I thought someone was trying to start a fight, or at least trying to get my attention. Listening to the mumblings of the staff, it sounded as though this was not the first time something like this had happened (was I pranked?).

They were nice enough to offer me some ice to put on my hand, which I did not require, though it felt like maybe they should have given me a gift card or something. They didn’t. Funny, because this is the type of situation that often leads to lawsuits costing the company millions.

The cherry on top was the drive to the ferry. I gave myself enough time to arrive early but missed my turn (in the rain and the dark), which of course cost me a good 10 to 15 minutes. Now I wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it on time. In the end, I came in under the wire, but that scenario could have played out very differently.

Chiefly, we don’t always know what these strange occurrences and delays are about. It could be that we’re craving variety, drama, or suspense, and we’re being given what we’re subconsciously craving. It could be that we’re avoiding misfortune by being guided to different locations, circumstances, or solutions. It could be mischief or hostility from forces unseen.

Usually, it’s the Universe trying to get your attention. Why is something only you can know, and it’s for you to put the puzzle pieces together.