Carbon remembers the days when it floated carelessly through the air. It sure beats being blasted through space after a star explosion. After millions of years existing with its kin – a whole bunch of other carbon atoms – one day it paired up with Oxygen. She was a young beauty, and it was a great fling. But it wasn’t to last, because before long the lust of Oxygen got the better of her.
Carbon was photosynthesised into glucose and sequestered into the trunk of a tree where he spent out the next thirty years. The promiscuous Oxygen, was cast adrift to float through the atmosphere once more. Carbon’s existence became a good existence, being bound up in a glucose molecule. It was a big family of pretty Oxygens, cute little Hydrogens, and matter-of-fact Carbons. It was a happy family. This wouldn’t last long either.
One day a bushfire tore through. The volatiles flew away, and all that was left was a stump of Carbons – a stump of sad Carbons who had once known happiness.They’d survived a galaxy-destroying furnace, drifted through the void of space and briefly known comradeship. The only thing they had left was to witness one of the miracles of the universe: a bird lands on the stump and shows its attractive plumage. It’s enough to give our friend Carbon the will to carry on.