I began this year’s walk with my summer sleeping kit, since climate normals and the weather forecast were conducive to the 7C limits of my sleeping bag. It looked like only a handful of days would be less than 7C — nothing a few articles of clothing can’t handle. The plan was fool proof; science was on my side. However, my nights have been cold and sleep has been restless; each morning marked by laying in wait for the sun to heat up the tent and my toes, I dreamt of the summer sun.
Fast forward to the second week of this leisurely stroll across Manitoba and it’s now too warm. The last few days of walking have me mired in a soupy, hot air (remember how I dreamed of these days). Well, I now complain about the lack of comfort and not having access to water whenever I like.
Apart from my inherent personality, the lack of comfort and the ever changing conditions one must deal with when living bare is what I and most would define as uncomfortable. Comfort, I guess, is defined as a static, regimented, safe, and monotonous life that most of us strive towards and the one I lived more than a year ago. To dramatize this, as I am keen to do, I never knew what it is like to suffer.
My experience was a seemingly endless supply of CLEAN water, shelter, a luxurious mattress (a european pillow top model) that was wrapped in a duvet. These luxuries and an almost steady stream of privilege is what I have been blessed with throughout my life, but it feels like a handicap out here and in life.
How can one truly be grateful and experience comfort and luxury if surrounded by it daily?
I thought that My Walk (and run) in 2017 would bring out a grateful-for-everything-Matt. It sorta did, however, it was relatively short lived. Slowly I dove back into being comfortable and was left with only a spritz worth of gratefulness.
Deep down I am grateful for all my riches and the opportunities that have fallen in my lap of life, however, this grateful attitude is fleeting at best.
Is this a work in progress? Maybe.
When I think about the last year and few months, I am grateful for my health and the ability to press pause on work and embark upon this walking odyssey of mine. I am especially grateful to a few individuals (and sponsors) for supporting my every step and mistep as I make my way towards Anchorage, AK.
I think Grateful Matt is alive and well — but he is getting stronger.