A few days ago, as usual, I went shopping. I walked up the hill to find my favorite market place and once more swore at the foul weather. Every time I had to cross a street, I saw myself fall, twist an ankle or worse. I am far from being disabled or shaking on my feet, but that little trek gave me cause to fret every time I dared point my nose outside.

Midway into the climb, I heard strong foot falls crunch the ice steadily, and approach from behind me. I side-stepped a little to let the man pass, but at the moment he was about to do so, I heard him erupt in a scream before I felt him grab my arm and saw him fall at my feet. A string of invectives accompanied of a series of apologetic mumbles then escaped his mouth as he helped himself up, grabbing onto my ankles, coat, waist and finally my shoulder before finding me looking at him, agape.

I smiled and so did he.

"I am so very sorry," he said, "did I hurt you?"

"No, thank you," I replied, blurting the words, while he brushed off my coat of ice, mud and dirt left behind by his grabbing hands.

Then he said something that triggered a laugh from me - "Do you want me to help you up the hill?"

I shook my head, still laughing. "No thanks, I think I'll manage," I replied.

I look after him for a minute as he resumed his walk, and thought; I wish I had someone who could help me up the day I'll fall.

We all need a helping hand in life at the most unexpected moment. As they say in the desert, "Always give water and shelter to the stranger who comes knocking, because one day you may be the one who comes knocking."