The Milford Track – a series of unfortunate events

Posted by Karen Degen on 12th March 2018

Tags: Milford Track

This is what happened and what I learned from walking  the Milford Track last week. To set the scene, it’s a four-day walk/tramp/hike (considered by many as one of the best walks in the world) in the depths of Fiordland, New Zealand. A wild and remote place that is boat access only at both ends. Accommodation is in huts that are just long bunkrooms with a covered mattress on a slat bunk. There are no showers, hot water, electricity, bedding or kitchen equipment. You carry everything with you on your back including food, clothes, sleeping bag, cooking pots, plates, utensils etc. The walk itself is around 6-7 hours per day, including one day that’s up a mountain and down the other side. Let’s just say that you need to be prepared and in a physically strong place. Here’s what happened to us and what I learned from it: A week before the tramp I broke my little toe. I was still in pain during the tramp. My husband Theo got a cold two or three days before the tramp and he had it for the whole time we were away. I caught it on the last day of the tramp. We both felt completely awful.  Of the four days, two of them were heavy and torrential rain. That included the day we walked up and down the mountain. Our rain coats and pants (even though good quality) could not keep up with the huge amount of rain and we were wet with no ability to dry our clothes before the next day. The day we returned Theo took a turn for the worst, was very unwell and got a lung infection. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a great believer in the Law of Attraction. You get what you put out with your thoughts, beliefs, expectations and emotions. Others walk the Milford Track and have four days of beautiful weather and we seemed to have a multiplicity of issues. But I’m not asking “Why”, for two reasons.

Reason number one: Today I was reading a Facebook post about someone I know who has just had a premature baby that is in intensive care and a wife who is “not out of the woods yet”. How on earth can I feel sorry for myself when I read this. That post reminded me that all of my problems are small. They are all short-lived. This is an experience I will look back on and laugh about. Their experience probably won’t be. I am so grateful that my problems are small ones in the grand scheme of things. I have learned to be grateful for my very small problems and my small discomforts. It helps to have discomforts at times to remind us of how great things usually are. I can practice my gratitude even better now and be even more grateful of my usual good health, my usual dryness, cleanliness and warmth.

The other reason I’m not asking “why” is because of something Neale Donald Walsch (author of Conversations with God) says, which is: “Why is this happening?” is the most useless question in the Universe. The only really profitable question is, “What?” As in, “What do I choose now?” This question empowers. The “why” question simply perplexes, and rarely satisfies even when it gets a good answer.

So I’m not going to ask why or what did I do/not do to attract this. Things aren’t perfect all the time. I’m just so happy and grateful that my imperfect parts are insignificant. That they are few and far between. That when they are there they remind me about how great my life usually is and how much I have to be grateful for. Without the dark we don’t always recognize the light. I have a lot of light in my life.