Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 28, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views News Saturday, August 28, 2021 

Pet of the Week 
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[Excerpt from “Searching for 
the Meaning of Life in the City 
of Angels,” a Kindle book by 
Nyerges. www.SchoolofSelf-] 
In 1984, during the week 
of the Los Angeles Olympic 
gains, I was working for the 
City of Pasa-dena in the day 
camp that was conducted at Victory Park.
At 1 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, 1984, I conduct-
ed a "rain-dance" ceremony with approximately 
20 children in the day camp. By 5 a.m. the next 
morning, the L.A. area was bathed in a heavy and 
unseasonal rain. Was there any connection be-
tween the rain-dance ceremony and the rain? 
I'd told many friends of the Tuesday rain-dance 
and I was receiving calls first thing Wednesday 
morning. "It's raining!! It's raining!!" I was excit-
edly told. "The children are going to be shocked." 
I was first shocked, then pleasantly surprised. 
This was the middle of August, after all, when the 
rainfall nearly always measures zero inches. 
Before I went off to work at the day camp on 
Wednesday, I shared breakfast with a small group 
of other active students of my mentor Shining 
Bear. The rain was one of the topics of our dis-
cussion that morning. As we ate and conversed, 
I felt something -- a "magic" -- in the air. The air 
was fresh and the ground was moist and full of 
negative ions, and I felt as if I had awakened and 
interacted with an ancient faculty. 
The Olympics lasted 16 days. The cleanup was 
on the 17th day, Monday, August 13. On Tues-
day, I conducted the rain-dance. On Wednesday, 
there was rain. Would it have rained any-way? 
Or was the rain-dance -- without my conscious 
knowledge -- part of a larger drama that was be-
ing played out? Was the rain like the "final cur-
tain" for the special dispensation of weath-er for 
this world-wide "gathering of the tribes" we call 
the Olympics? 
On Wednesday afternoon, I called Dr. George Fis-
chbeck, the local television meteorolo-gist. We’d 
met before, so it was easy to contact him. Dur-
ing our telephone conversation, he told me that 
he noted a storm off the California coast at 7 p.m. 
Tuesday. By Tuesday evening at 11 p.m., he knew 
that rain would fall, but not where. Due to winds 
that arose, the rain moved fur-ther west and north 
than he expected. Dr. Fischbeck believed there 
was no connection between the rain-dance and 
the rain, discounting the ability of what he called 
"prayer" to affect the weather. Still, Fischbeck told 
me that he recognizes and respects the sacred na-
ture of the Southwestern Native American danc-
es, having lived among the New Mexico Native 
Americans for two years as an anthropologist. 
Tuesday was to be the last day I'd be working with 
some of the children, so I had a few special ac-
tivities planned. Starting at about 12:30, did such 
things as learning about wild plants, practic-ing 
Indian sign language, and making soap with wild 
I had suggested the previous day that we'd do a 
rain-dance ceremony, and a few children were now 
asking about it with voices of eager anticipation. 
I removed my hand-made clay pipe from its con-
tainer, filled it with a mixture of tobacco and white 
sage, and carefully lit it. Once the pipe was smok-
ing well, I stood in the center of the cir-cle and 
blew smoke to the six directions – the four cardi-
nal points, as well as the sky, and the earth. I ex-
plained to the children that I was offering respect 
and thanks in an attitude of humili-ty. 
Next I passed the pipe around the circle for each 
child to take a puff. Each child nervously puffed 
on the pipe. In retrospect, I could tell they were 
a bit uncertain about the fact that I was letting 
young children smoke a pipe. A few counselors 
even looked about to make certain no parents or 
directors were approaching. 
Once we concluded the pipe-passing, I directed 
half of the children to dance in an outer circle, 
while the other half clapped their hands. We re-
versed directions a few times, and then I led them 
in a simple rain chant. Finally, we let up a cheer 
for rain. 
"Is it really going to rain?" a few children curiously 
asked me. 
"Of course," I replied with the innocence of a 
child. "It’ll rain within a few days." But I was just 
being positive. I'd not checked any weather pat-
terns, nor had I planned the rain-dance until that 
Though it rained hard early the following Wednes-
day morning, there was only a drizzle by the time 
I arrived at day camp. Several of the children who 
had participated in the rain-dance looked at me 
quizzically that morning, and I could tell they 
wondered if our rain-dance of the previous af-
ternoon had any connection to the rain. Several 
of them came up to me with their questions and 
A few yelled out, "We made rain! We made rain!" 
I quickly pointed out that "we" didn't make any-
thing. Rather, our request was answered. 
In an attempt to find the science in our rain-dance, 
I identified at least five important elements. 
1. We washed ourselves before the ceremony. 
2. We "requested" rain in an attitude of humility. 
3. We shared the pipe of unity and friendship. 
4. We sang, chanted, and danced our rain cer-
emony, not "by the book," but with feeling and 
5. The ceremony was conducted by children young 
enough to still be uncorrupted by the limita-tions 
imposed by adult minds. They had never been 
told that they couldn't invoke rain. I believe that 
their innocence and lack of prejudice was a key 
factor in the apparent success of our rain-dance. 
My subsequent research revealed that invoking 
the rain is still practiced today by many peo-
ples. Among the North American Indians, Roll-
ing Thunder occasional¬ly invokes rain by use of 
a curious method (which involves a stink bug) 
described in a biographical work called Rolling 
Thunder by Doug Boyd. 
Sun Bear, founder of the Washington-based Bear 
Tribe, describes rain-making in chapter 17 of his 
Path of Power. He writes, "The powers that I feel 
closest to in my medicine are my brothers, the 
Thunder Beings. When you're strong and cen-
tered in your medicine you can tune into the el-
emental forces. You can lock into their energy and 
have them respond to you, and the process is not 
the mysterious act of a magician. 
This is really a deep topic, with lots of aspects and 
ramifications. Just the tip of the iceberg has been 
presented here. I hope this little taste will encour-
age you to look into it more, especially now. 
Mira's owner called 
Mira a miracle, back 
in 2013. Mira was a 
young stray, just skin 
and bones, seeking 
shade under a bench 
from the hot sun. Two 
people were sitting on 
the bench, kicking at 
her, telling her to "Scat, 
get out of here!" Well, the kind, compassionate woman scooped her up and brought her home. 
The woman felt it was a miracle--meant to be, hence the purr-fect name. 
Mira, age 8, is a beautiful tortie (tortoiseshell), with that gorgeous autumn colored fur, which 
will need daily brushing to keep it shiny, soft, and mat-free. Torties are also known for having 
"tortitude," meaning a bit of an "attitude." However, Mira is curious, friendly, loving, and play-
ful. She will greet you at the door and check out your shoes. She won't really love being held, 
but she will sit close to you. 
Mira is as healthy as can be, because the woman has kept up with her regular vet visits and has 
her on good food.
Sadly, now, Mira's owner has health issues that make it very difficult for her to take care of 
Mira. It will be heart-breaking because she loves her so much, but she is looking for a new 
home--one that will love and cherish Mira for the rest of her life. A calm, quiet home with 
no other pets or young children would be ideal, but no one, not anyone, has come forward 
yet. Could you? More pics on our website. For adoption info:
adoption-application. If you absolutely can't yet adopt, please share with someone who might. 
Thank you! 
Senior kitty Albert is a former stray who’s ready tospend his golden years as a pampered lap cat! Albertis ten years young and has a curious spirit. He lovesexploring, but will happily hang out with you forsome petting and head scratches. He has a sweet andquiet meow that he uses to get your attention. Alberthas surprisingly soft fur that you’ll love to pet! 
The adoption fee for cats is $100. All kittenadoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, andage-appropriate vaccines. 
New adopters will receive a complimentary health-
and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, aswell as a goody bag filled with information about 
how to care for your pet. 
View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoptionappointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 
Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email.