A billion years ago our home planet was unrecognizable. On land there was virtually nothing but barren rock, scoured by howling wind and pelting rain. The air was a poisonous yellow-orange haze of nitrogen and carbon compounds with only the barest presence of free oxygen. But the oceans bloomed colorfully with swarms of single-celled critters. It was the golden age the of Proterozoic Eon, a world ruled by microscopic creatures of dazzling diversity.It goes on to talk about the evolution of sexual reproduction and the creation of dads. Like a Walt Whitman poem, the essay takes us from the dawn of life on the planet to the life of DarkSyde's own dad.
Some zipped around like tiny jet aircraft, powered through the viscous media by rows of cilia or a single whip-like flagella. Others lazily poured themselves into one advancing pseudopodia after another, moving and engulfing their prey like the blob. A few found safety in numbers and grouped in bulky mats, preserved to this day as stromatolites. And here and there, perhaps a handful had organized into groups of burgeoning specialized cells--the first metazoans. But there's an even more exciting change in the works and it will become all the rage: We're talking 'bout sex!
I miss my dad. It's been nearly 25 years since he died of a heart attack while fighting a fire. I've lived more of my life without him than with him, and yet, I can't write these sentences without being overtaken by sadness. I was glad to read that the volunteer fire department he gave his life to has a strong leader and hope for the future, but that news, on this weekend of this particular year, makes it hard for me to stay ahead of the grief I've spent most of my life trying to outrun.