On May 18, 1980, in the state of Washington, Mount St. Helens erupted in what is known as the the deadliest and most destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. The pyroclastic flow flattened everything in its way. Volcanic mudflows added to the destruction, which more than 30 years after the event, is still visible throughout the park. And yet, life is clearly reconquering the barren slopes. In summer, abundant wildflowers are painting the hillsides in shades of pink, red and white around the remnants of trees, which were brought down by the catastrophic eruption. It is this contrast between dead wood and bright flowers that spoke to me as it carries a message of rebirth and hope.
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