The grey and hazy sky swirled, clearly reflecting Jane’s state of mind. The wind blew furiously, its strength pushing her off the pathway and into the muddy trail. “Great…this day couldn’t get any worse” ,thought Jane as she dusted off her soiled bag and skirt and got herself back up. Little did she know that it would only get worse from there.

As she began walking again, her brain, like a scratched record repeatedly played that one moment she wished she could forget. Earlier that day, she had met with a famous publisher in the city to whom she wanted to talk about the publication of her book. ‘ Birdsong’ the work that consumed four long years of her life had been rejected by the publishing house. For Jane, it meant stagnation and the potential ruin of her livelihood.

The thoughts swarming her head were briefly interrupted when the rain began to thrash against her body and forced her to seek shelter in a nearby shop. Soon, the rain had begun to wreak havoc in this otherwise uneventful countryside. There was news of injuries in every corner and the heavy outpour made the day very difficult indeed.

As she fudgeled about, sitting in a corner, Jane heard a guttural scream. The shopkeeper’s wife was arranging the groceries when she slipped on the water that had been dripping from the roof, and fell. It was no surprise that something, in the shop as old as earth itself would cause some serious damage, but this injury couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time. The rain poured like it never had for ages and amidst all that, Jane and the shopkeeper moved as fast as the knee- deep water would let them, with the latter’s wife on their shoulders. The hospital seemed eons away but they made it without any incidents.

Days had passed since then.

Jane hurriedly put on her best clothes and rushed out of her house that stood at the corner of Lilith Street. The golden rays of sunlight seeped through the clouds and fell almost magically on the blooming pansies. The children were out playing in their house gardens, while their parents sat sipping tea on the veranda. The rainbow looked like a gateway to heaven itself and the fields were lush with all that would put food on people’s tables. The drabness the storm had brought into their lives, had now turned into beauty and bounty. This gave Jane a sense of purpose. The change in the weather and the fact that she almost died, ironically gave her hope.

That day, after the shopkeeper’s wife had been safely admitted into the hospital, Jane had returned to the shop to get her belongings, but found only the ruins of the building that once stood there. The shop had collapsed and had the woman not been injured, they would all have been long dead.

Today, Jane felt refreshed as she walked into a new publishing house with an extra bounce in her steps.

‘Birdsong’ now graced the shelves in libraries all across the world and she knew that at the end of tempest and darkness, she had found light……