In late April 1980, Danielle St. John took up residence in her mother’s womb. Her parents lived in Pasco, an agricultural town in southern Washington. Pasco is part of the Tri-Cities area, which had a population boom 30 years earlier because of the nearby Hanford Site, a now-decommissioned nuclear production complex. This site is (in)famous for developing the plutonium that was used for the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki.
A few short weeks after tiny Danielle was added to the in-utero population of Pasco, on Sunday, May 18th, Mount St. Helens erupted a mere 200 miles away from where the St. John family lived. Three hours after the 8:32am eruption, volcanic ash covered her parents’ whole yard. Surprisingly enough, Danielle doesn’t recollect the blast — which her dad says was like a sonic boom — so I guess it must have happened while she was in the middle of a deep morning nap in the womb.
2,700 miles away, a 5-month-old baby boy in Pennsylvania was similarly oblivious to both seismic events. An eruption that forever sculpted the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, and a conception that forever sculpted the landscape of two human hearts. (Not to mention the as-yet-uncharted landscape of two tiny hearts yet to come.)
In the emotional continuum, true love is somewhere between a volcanic eruption and an atomic bomb.
And in the space-time continuum, my own true love was born right in the confluence of the two.
I will love pondering this fact as long as I live.