Eight billion years ago, there was another.
Others came before and after.
Microscopic debris from those massive explosions spread throughout the universe. Some of the atoms arrived in our solar system, where they coalesced to form Planet Earth. Over time, they have become many, many things:
- The computer on which I am typing these words.
- The sofa on which I’m sitting.
- The house that contains the sofa and the computer and a thousand other things both necessary (food in the refrigerator) and unnecessary (a DVD of Josie and the Pussycats).
- The three hounds sprawled in front of the heater on this unusually chilly April morning and the ashes of their predecessors, kept on a shelf across the room.
- The silver in the ring that Jonno gave me after we confessed our love for one another, the ring I haven’t taken off in years symbolizing a marriage that wasn’t even possible when I received it.
Considering how long it took for those atoms and molecules to become what they are now, 16 years is a flash, a blink, no time at all. Even so, I can’t remember life without Jonno, and I hope I never have to face it.
Our love has changed over the years, matured, morphed. New elements — one in particular — have kept us on track and even deepened our relationship. But more about him later.
For now, I’ll just say: I am happy, Jonno is happy, and with luck, our atoms will live on to make others happy billions of years from now, trillions of miles from where I’m sitting.
Happy anniversary, Jonno. I love you.