A week after Nathaniel and I started dating, we walked over to the park by my house and he carved our initials in a tree with a heart around them - "N+A". The tree stands next to a large boulder where we've had many picnics and watched the sky grow dark on warm summer nights.
It's been a long time since we've visited our tree. Now that we're back in the area, we took Constantine on a walk to see it for the first time. The initials are barely legible anymore, a deep heart-shaped scar is working its way into the bark, reshaping, reforming our letters. Some day, we probably won't be able to discern it at all. But I will never forget the day that Nathaniel spent an hour with his pocket knife, carefully carving our legacy into its side.