I was 6 when Mt. St. Helens blew. Living in Portland and wearing a breathing mask as ash fell from the sky. Perhaps my first foray into helping the community, after school with my grandmother, we put masks on the city's statues so my little asthmatic self wouldn't feel so odd wearing a mask to stay healthy.
It's not lost on me that today, all these years later, I'm wearing a mask out into the world again... a different eruption, but life changing all the same.