I was on a holiday last year with some friends and as you do, I was scouring the bach bookshelf for something to read. I came across a pile of National Geographic’s which I quickly grabbed a handful of and headed for the deck. Flicking through stories and photographs, I came across an article by Rowe Findley (Vol. 97,No.5). His topic was the Mount St Helens volcanic eruption of 1980 and how the area had recovered over the following 20 years. His language was captivating. Describing an eruption of monumental power and devastation that claimed 57 human lives and wiped out over 230 sq miles of trees, along with animals and birds in moments. A smouldering ash heap was left in its wake and a gaping giant sized hole where the side of the mountain once was. Desolation. A moonscape, Rowley called it. But twenty years on and the tenacity of life is powerfully evident. The gophers that were underground on the day of the eruption were protected. And when they did burrow back to the surface they brought topsoil with them which allowed for airborne seeds to find a place to grow.
Wildflowers sprung up. Vibrant colour and variety, pushing up through rock and rubble. Beauty was quick to arrive to the devastated area. And over the following days, months and years, Mount St Helens and the surrounding area, bloomed back into voracious life.
I put the magazine down and closed my eyes. Breathing a sigh of relief. What a stunning example of life returning. Not to exactly what it was, but with the scars of the past, into something new and
This album is tribute to life’s mysteries of devastation and renewal. A bouquet, if you will, that is
my pleasure to share with you.