Life Advice



Milllennial Life: The Garden of Life

Cassie McClure on

One of the most desirable examples of magic from the "Harry Potter" series wasn't a spell. It was the Time-Turner, a necklace with which one could reverse time by twirling an hourglass. This was how the studious character Hermione could attend multiple classes at one time; her intellect wouldn't be hampered by something as silly as there being only one of her. In her world, that could be fixed. In ours, it can't.

The penalty of having a deep curiosity and interest in multiple things is realizing that there is only so much you can do with the time that you have. I tend to get caught by random realizations: I will never be able to read all the books I'd like to read. I won't be able to meet all the people who might open my mind to new ideas. I will only be able to live my own life in the ways it has been constricted due to my choices.

The terror that gets heaped on when it's on you to decide how to use your precious hours is that strangle of adulthood pulling your youth straight away from you. But you can look at it like a garden as well. It's also a measure of seeing what you've planted and seeing that where you put your energy is where things grow. Sure, it could be seen as a vine that chokes you, but it can be a millennial pollinator garden.

We decided to stop pulling most weeds in our yard, watching different bushes sprout up. My husband tossed seeds into stray pots and planted parts of cacti that he requested from slightly startled neighbors. There is no real rhyme or reason to our front yard, but when you drive up, it looks lived in, like something is being planned.

However, the only real plan is enjoyment and seeing the joy that happens in the moments when stray hummingbirds investigate the desert willow and get used enough to us drinking coffee that they'll hover near us for a second, debating our nectar potential before moving on.

The only things we are focused on plucking out are the goatheads, the fun name for burs with sharp spikes that make the frolicking in a desert yard more of a calculated risk.


It's like life, to choose to frolic, but knowing that from one moment to the next, you can step on a bur that'll sink into your foot and have you yowl. Bad situations often catch you in the happy steps, and you can try to pull out the problems from the roots and not realize that there are still hidden risks.

The garden I've grown in the rocky soil of a desert is wild and with no real planned design, but it's mine with the choices I've made. There are beautiful flowers that bloom and bumbling beetles that land for a spell on the spines of a cactus. There is laughter from children and the relaxed sighs from a one-eyed dog.

I could have spun my time differently, but there's peace in remembering that there is only one of me and only this life to savor in the garden you water with your time.


Cassie McClure is a writer, millennial, and unapologetic fan of the Oxford comma. She can be contacted at To find out more about Cassie McClure and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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