And when it does, the sight of it is worth the wait. Each palm frond drips in the rain's remnants. Each branch is speckled in droplets. The coconuts are drenched in their wet coating. The grass too is covered.
When the sunlight emerges right after all that rain, everything in sight glistens. South Florida literally sparkles. The dripping palm fronds, the speckled branches, the drenched coconuts and covered blades of grass - all of it a-glimmer under the warm rays of the sun. But only for a time ... Rainlight doesn't last long. Like so many of nature's majestic moments, the twinkling world that is visible in South Florida only after a rainstorm is fleeting. Brief enough that you may miss it altogether. It's also oddly subtle in some way. Even as a writer who tries to observe the things around me carefully, I hadn't fully noticed the rainlight until just the other day. Yes, I realize now that I'd seen it many many times before. After more than 26 years in Greater Fort Lauderdale, I'd have to be fairly oblivious to have paid it no attention at all. But I hadn't really and truly seen it, not with a deeper awareness of what was in front of me. Not until sometime earlier this month. Then it struck me. This was the tropical counterpart to something I'd experienced in Vermont during the winter, when storms occasionally coat each twig and branch of the trees in ice. Whenever the sun comes out after an ice storm, it's gorgeous. That doesn't happen often up there. But the rainlight - that's much more commonplace down here. As August ambles toward its end this year, South Florida seems likely to get some good rains. If we're lucky, we'll get some good suns just after those good rains. And for a few instants, the world will sparkle again.