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As a writer, I’ve been mulling a word encountered in recent reading: Spirit-lifting.

As a rehabilitation counselor, I’ve been mulling a word from current study about trauma: Soul-wounding.

Doe and yearling on a spirit-lifting walk yesterday. (Kathleen Kenna photo)

I went for a walk in the woods yesterday with a close friend, and we were stopped on the trail by a mule deer nearby. She froze; we fumbled for a camera.

We spotted her fawn — most likely a yearling, my friend said — and watched as the mother shielded the young one from strangers. My friend, a mother, noticed the full udder and remarked that the doe is still nursing.

We moved on, after a shaky, furtive photo, and encountered more deer along the trail. Their huge ears went vertical for an instant, but they sensed no danger and returned to feeding.

“When a deer crosses your path, you have met a spirit,” said my friend, a long-time minister.

I thought about this after our hike, grateful for a spirit-lifting afternoon with my sweet friend. This morning, I’m grateful to add ‘spirit-lifting’ to my meditation vocabulary.

The writer and rehabilitation counselor is still mulling spirit-lifting and soul-wounding, blessed by a few moments with a family of deer in an autumn woods.

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