|Me at the rim of the crater on Mount Saint Helens, May 9, 2015. Spirit Lake is below; a partially shrouded Mount Rainier|
hovers in the far distance.
I'm not sure exactly why, but I've been fascinated by this mountain ever since living in the Pacific Northwest. I'm obviously no scientist, but local history always captivates me. So does the inexplicable but awesome force of nature, both its destructive and restorative qualities. As I've indicated more than once before, I think there's a powerful and instructive spiritual message to be learned simply by paying attention to the rhythms of the created order.
Mount Saint Helens was once known as the "Mount Fuji of North America" for its near-perfect conical shape. Directly to the north of the glacial mountain was Spirit Lake, a crystal-blue body of water surrounded by old-growth forests, camps, cabins, and lodges. It's a place I would have loved to have visited in the 1960s or 1970s, before the era of Internet, cell phones, or social media, and before this region was defined by names like Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft. A time when most folks in the Northwest still drank cans of Rainier and Olympia beer — long before the craft beer movement came of age.