By Margaret Magnus
El Niño never brought the much needed rain to southern California this past year – except on Amartithi.
Amartithi – or eternal date – is the anniversary of the day on which Avatar Meher Baba dropped His physical form in 1969.
El Niño is the warming of the ocean’s surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which changes the rainfall pattern. In southern California, it usually means more rainfall than normal.
That was good, because since 2011 there has been record-low rainfall resulting in a major drought. Everyone hoped and waited. The rain didn’t materialize as forecast except on Amartithi, January 31, 2016.
“On January 31 in Southern California, up to an inch of rain fell across dry coastal regions, two to four inches of rain were observed in the mountains in Santa Barbara County, and up to eight inches of snow blanketed ski resorts,” according to Tom De Liberto on NOAA Climate.gov.
“It was a wonderful day filled with rain and wind and wildness and Indian food with 30-plus brave souls who ventured out regardless to celebrate Amartithi at Meher Mount,” said Meher Mount Manager/Caretaker Buzz Glasky.
All who attended were delighted. “It was an adventure to get there, but it sure was worth it!” said board member Jim Whitson from Santa Barbara, CA.
“The rain was in full-blown blinding and pounding storm mode as I drove up on Highway 150 from the Santa Paula side around noon,” explained visitor Wayne Myers from Oregon. “Debris was blowing in the high winds, and I was more concerned about falling branches than the rain.
“Then, when I turned from Highway 150 onto Sulphur Mountain Road, the rain stopped exactly at that moment. It showered off and on for a couple of more hours,” Myers continued.
And the wind: “A few good-sized limbs were no match for the high winds, and the place was covered with leaves and little oak branches,” said Glasky.
There was only one mishap with a car getting stuck in the muddy parking lot. The tractor and six hardy helpers got the car back onto the pavement.
The rain kept away some attendees, but not all. Before coming to Meher Mount that day photographer Eddie Brooks of Orinda, CA, asked himself, “Where would I like to be for Amartithi? Well, there’s Meher Mount – Meher Baba was there; I should go there.”
On his drive to Meher Mount, it rained all the way. But after lunch, he said, “The skies opened up. It was incredible; it was beautiful. I was overcome.
“My prayers were the photographs. What came through me, I put into the photos. They are my response to Meher Baba’s energy that was so full that day. Baba’s presence was everywhere.”
“Sometimes I go to Baba’s Tree, and it vibrates unlike anywhere else on the property. But that day, the feeling permeated the whole place. I tried to capture that feeling. It was a special day.”