• Mary Anderson

Oh, Deer!

By Mary Anderson

It wasn’t revenge. I swear.

I know that deer are a vector of Lyme disease, and having just been diagnosed with it, it might seem I did it on purpose.

I was tootling along Highway 80-West in Iowa. It was dark—about 4 a.m. local time. A big, beautiful deer ran right out in front of me. I tried to swerve. There was a car to my right and only a small shoulder to my left before the grass of the median began. I hit its rear end with the passenger side of my car.

I won’t go into the gory details. I am more upset about the deer than the fact that my car now has a gaping hole with one headlight and the windshield-wiper-fluid container missing.

Some people would be really bummed out about it and focus on what an inconvenience it will be to get it repaired. Others will say, “You’re lucky. Thank God it wasn’t worse.” I will do both and more.

I like focusing on the positive by acknowledging all the horrific things that could have happened to me but did not. At the same time I know how important it is for me to recognize that this was a bit of a traumatic event and if I had been really Iucky it would not have happened at all.

I want to focus realistically on the entirety of the event. I’ll need to nurture those parts of me that are upset. I’ll put the functioning parts of me to work calling the insurance company. I won’t spend too much time bemoaning what happened. I’ll pray the deer died quickly and ask for forgiveness. And I’ll keep moving forward, knowing I have another chapter to add to my next book!


Mary Anderson is writing a book about her trek along the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail, a journey of healing that she began in her sixties. Mary hiked the southern half of the trail in 2020 and is undertaking the northern half in 2021. Read more of Mary's story.

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