Word Prompt: Goals | Story Prompt: from the book “The Beautiful Mystery” by Louise Penny

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“After a minute or so of silence, Gamache heard a sound. It seemed quite far off, and he wondered if a plane was approaching again. It was a haunting sort of hum.

Then he realized it wasn’t coming from outside at all. But inside.

The sound was coming from Frere Simon.

What started as a drone, a hum, a note hanging in the air, turned into something else. With a swoop, the note descended and seemed to play in the lower registers before leaping back up. Not a jagged leap, but a soft soar.

It seemed to sweep into Gamache’s chest and surround his heart, then take it along for the ride. Higher and higher. But never precipitous, never dangerous. Never did Gamache feel the music, or his heart, were about to come crashing down.

There was a certainty, a confidence. A lilting joy.”


The Monk – MEC 2017

Bent over my work, I am grateful for the light that comes streaming through my window, illuminating my desk. Caring for the school community is my focus, and every penny saved on mundane realities (such as electricity) are dollars that might be used to take in another child. Although there is much that we are unable to do, I know that we are doing what we can, and I am happy. The sounds of the children reach me through the thin pane of glass, and I know that I am where I need to be.

I hear them coming before they knock at the door. A child is crying; I can hear the resistance and fear in the small voice, louder as they near my office.  Small scuffling noises accompany the sobbing. Easing back to feel the wood of my chair against my spine, I take a breath to clear my thoughts before receiving my guests. The calm before a storm. I wait.

A moment later, the door to my office is opened and there before me is one of my teachers, eyes begging, full of frustration, but what really catches my attention is the child. She has herself in knots, although her body gives her away. She is limp, crying uncontrollably. I seat her in a small chair set before me. I take her face gently between my palms, the heat from her small cheeks almost burning to the touch, salty tears streaming.

“Tashi,” I say, “you are here now. It will be okay. Take a breath.”

I wait as she takes a furtive glance at my face, unsure if she can trust me or not, wanting to yet not trusting. Her crying has slowed but big sobs still wrack her whole body has she tries to take a breath. The heat from her is easing now, just a little; her tension slowly lessens.

“Tashi,” I begin again, “You remember what I told you, what I tell all the children who come here, the children who live here?”

I wait, marvelling at the spirit of this little one who has started a fresh sobbing, but feel from it that this is not the same fear, perhaps more of a test to see what I do next. There is a small pause as she sniffs loudly and glances up quickly at me again, our eyes connecting for just a second this time.

“Tashi, I tell them, and I tell you now, you belong here. You are welcome here. You are loved here.”

I pause to let this sink in and again feel my gratitude for the sunlight streaming through the window, and for this little one whose face I hold in my hands. I feel gratitude for the ability to give her a gift, this gift of belonging, this precious gift that every child deserves.

I smile as she looks up at me again, lashes thick with salty tears, nose running.



Are these long cold winter days, during a global pandemic, offering you more time to write? Or has writing been more difficult? Is your writing reflective or creative? Which comes easier? Why? Share your thoughts here!

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