Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its major eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed.
I lived in Port Orchard, Washington at that time, approximately 177 miles away. The ash fall out was terrible, people constantly admitted to the hospitals due to respiratory problems from breathing in the ash. When you went outside it looked like it had been snowing. Ash covered everything!
In the late 1980’s new growth was taking place, the area started thriving again as trees and greenery spread sprouting up all over. Amazing that after such a devastation as this was, life began again.
This scene reminded me of a Phoenix. The phoenix is one of the most important representations of rebirth and strength; The firebird can regenerate by bursting into flames and emerging from the ashes of its predecessor. It is for this reason that it is linked with renewal.
Through my own personal tragedies struggles and trauma finally hitting rock bottom and climbing up and out I have adopted the Phoenix as my totem.