The scenario developed before my eyes in live, slow-motion, up-close-and-personal, in-your-face, 3-D. While balancing a Dunkin’s coffee cup in one hand and a grocery bag in the other, one moment there I was, upright and dignified as a Maine virgin pine and then suddenly, there I wasn’t.

Felled by black ice, my body kissed the pavement where I was momentarily reduced to beggar on knees, to the likes of a woman-in-desperate-prayer, imploring my patellas to remain intact, to let me rise to the occasion.

In retrospect, the fall was a true Olympic moment, one where competitor wipes out, brushes herself off, hoists herself up and smiles – although my moment excluded any flash of smile. Yet, to give credit where due in such an ego-deflating and undignified position, not one cuss word escaped this stoic Mainer’s lips, only a barely audible cry of “the cherries!”

Then my senses and adrenalin kicked in and assessed the situation. It appeared my fall from grace really was an Olympic moment, as my coffee cup remained unspilled, held high as if I were bearer of a virtual Olympic torch! And deserving of at least a bronze medal, was the instinctive act of protecting a jar of maraschino cherries from sure shatter by cradling it in the crook of my arm like a fullback going in for a touchdown (and touchdown it was!).

As I write, it is impossible not to consider the irony of ice underfoot being cause and effect of my bruised knee now being iced to minimize swelling and throbbing pain; maybe at some point I will come to appreciate the ironic humor of it, but for now it escapes me.

However, there is a brighter side to the story. Ever since childhood, the old adage “with a cherry on top” has inferred good luck, a good omen, to this trusting, if not gullible, willing-to-believe-anything-that-sounds-too-good-to-be-true me. To begin one’s day with a basic breakfast of cereal topped with fruit cocktail … and the ubiquitous “cherry on top,” just seems like invitation to good karma, so why not?

And besides, it makes the whole, mouth-watering mound look pretty! Although, like so many other furtive changes through the years, I have noticed fewer and fewer maraschino cherries in the average, nondescript can of fruit cocktail. And so, I occasionally supplement the lack thereof with a few extra, just for the heck of it. Which calls to mind the “good luck” part. My fall, however dramatic and ungraceful, resulted in no broken bones. For that I am grateful and keenly aware the outcome could have been much worse – it may well have shattered my glass jar of cherries. Maybe there is something to be said for inviting good karma after all.

And oh, the other item in the shopping bag that likely helped cushion the blow to jar? An 8-pound container of Pet Safe Ice Melt (hopefully safe for humanoids too!).

— Special to the Telegram

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