She closed her eyes and sat cross-legged on a piece of sackcloth. Eyelashes still wet with warm tears and a mind overflowing with sorrow made it hard for her to concentrate. But her father's last advice still echoed in every corner of her head.
A week back, as the first monsoon clouds approached their small island, her father had passed the divine poem to her. Since times immemorial, parents had been passing this wisdom to their future generations as they stepped into their seventeenth year, which marked the beginning of adulthood.
She repeated his words in her mind:
"Commune with the rain,
Behold the messenger;
O tomorrows golden grain,
Embrace the harbinger."
Tears slid down her cheeks and gathered on her chin as she remembered the last conversation with her father.
"But father I do not understand."
"You shall my daughter. Just listen to the rain. Learn what you can from the Great Teacher."
She relaxed as the refreshing aroma of wet straw filled her small hut. Closing her eyes, she sat there listening to the rain for a long time. Very slowly the realization seeped into her mind. Gradually her consciousness swelled and took substance as time lost all significance.
Lightning rushed across the sky; she was a blade of grass, oscillating up and down as drops of rain hit it continuously... she was a majestic tree standing tall with pride, but submitting to the moist caresses of the wind... a drop of rain swelling with anticipation as she charged down from the sky and hit a puddle of water... she was a puddle of rain water, growing drastically as numerous drops of rain hit its face... a small streamlet rushing towards the river... she was the river... the fish... the weeds... she lost all individuality and became part of the collective consciousness... she was the Truth itself! Slowly she drew back -- became a drop of water running down the curls of her hair... she was a girl opening her eyes.
It took her a while to gauge her surroundings. She stood in an open field outside her hut, with her arms wide open. A strong feeling of ecstasy ran through her whole body as she absorbed the meaning of the divine poem. Death lost its meaning and life, exuberant with colors of the rainbow, stretched to the horizons of eternity.