I was born and raised in Oregon and I loved Mt. St. Helens. It was a majestic peak, perfectly shaped and covered with snow — the Mt. Fuji of the Cascades.
I attended summer camp at Spirit Lake, in the shadow of the great mountain. Other than Iguazu Falls, in South America, I have never seen anything as lovely as St. Helens and Spirit Lake.
But 30 years ago today, Mt. St. Helens blew to bits. Early on a Sunday morning, it shed more than 1,000 feet of elevation. Dozens of people died. The ash darkened the sky across much of Eastern Washington.
I heard the eruption that morning — nearly 200 miles away from the epicenter a few minutes before leaving for Sunday School. It sounded like a sonic boom.
The gray blanket of dust didn’t fall over Oregon, but it passed close enough to my hometown of Hermiston that I saw it sail past.
After the eruption was over, the lake was gone. The wildlife was gone. The trees were gone. Everything was gone. But it didn’t stay lifeless for long. Today, the lake has returned. Trees are going. It looked like death on May 18, but 30 years later, it looks like resurrection.