Mt. Saint Helens - My Family Travels

What once stood as a great mountain was now reduced to the largest crater I had ever seen. On that August day we looked out at the crater of Mount St. Helens; the crater formed from the blast that occurred in 1980 with the power twenty-seven thousand atomic bombs. Mount St. Helens serves as a reminder of the power of nature.

Not only does nature supply us with life but it can destroy lives on an incomprehensible scale. On the day of the eruption five thousand deer died, fifteen hundred elk were slaughtered, eleven million fish were killed, two hundred people lost their homes, forty seven bridges collapsed, and a hundred and eighty five miles of highway were destroyed. What had once been forest was now desert. I considered how many lives were lost from the two atomics bombs dropped on Japan in World War II. Yet this volcano was twenty-seven thousand times more powerful.

As we stood at the top of the sandy ridge my father told me how his car in New York State, thousands of miles from the volcano itself, had been covered in ash on that day. The event had truly impacted everyone on a worldwide scale. Mount St. Helens had changed mankind’s view of nature in 1980. As I looked at the crater in August 2000, my understanding of nature also changed.

I spotted a small flower growing out of the desolate wasteland. Twenty years later, and life had returned. Life would always persevere. It was designed to be able to survive even the greatest of catastrophes. Eventually this place would become forest again, only to be cut down by another assault from the natural forces that govern our world. I looked at the smoke rising from the remains of the mountain.

It was only a matter of time.

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