On May 18, 1980 at 8:32 am local time,

mtsthelensMt. St. Helens blew its lid. Literally. I remember learning about it the next day at school. I remember seeing images of the clouds of ash and smoke and wondering what one does when a volcano erupts, especially since there were nothing close to a mountain in the place where I lived. I had no idea that someday, a little under two decades after this eruption I would find myself living in the state where it happened.
The first time I encountered Mt. St. Helens up close and personal, my mind needed a few moments to completely register the fact that a chunk of the mountain was missing, even though I knew why. The violence of the eruption was far more clear at that moment than it has been at any time I’ve seen it from the city where I lived, almost 62 miles away.
Yesterday afternoon, I saw a wedding photo that was taken shortly after the volcano had erupted. The wedding party was wearing face masks because of the particles in the air. It was a sad reminder that the more things change, sometimes, the more they stay the same.


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