June 8th

Seventeen years ago today, I married Sean Flynn McShane in Salt Lake City.

bj and sean wedding

It was a warm day ~92 degrees, and the First Unitarian Church, which lacked airconditioning, was packed. After the brief ceremony, we gathered under the trees on the front lawn for photos.

Later–at Westminster College, on the banks of Emigration Creek, shaded by cottonwood trees–we celebrated our marriage while cotton swirled around the patio, forming balls on the floor, and gathering into clumps in the corners of the reception center. Until that day in 1996, I never knew when the cotton came. Now, every year, in the first week of June, I watch for the cotton to blow. It begins softly, almost imperceptibly, with a couple of wisps slipping free from the pods still securely attached to the tree’s branches. Then, within a few days, larger seed pods, trailing long strands of white fluff, break away, searching for ground. These are the female seeds. If they find moist, hospitable soil they will grow quite readily.

This year, as I walked the dogs by the golf course, I noted the first puffs of cotton blow across the putting green and land by the curb along the parking lot. I remembered how horribly, achingly lonely I’d felt before I met Sean and expected to feel that way again. Instead, I felt sad. But also glad that we met, loved, married, and made babies.

About BJ

living the dream in northern Utah
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