Word Prompt: Garden | Story Prompt: from the book “Still Life” by Louise Penny

Write It Out: Instruction Video

““What can I do, sir?”

“You can learn. You can watch and listen, and do as you’re told. You’re a trainee. Nobody expects you to know anything. If you pretend to know you aren’t going to actually learn.”

Nichol could feel herself blush and cursed her body, which had betrayed her for as long as she could remember. She was a blusher. Maybe, came some voice from deep down below blushing level, maybe if you stop pretending you’ll also stop blushing. But it was a very weak voice.

“I watched you yesterday. You did some good work. You got us on to the arrow possibility early. Excellent. But you also have to listen. Listen to villagers, listen to the suspects, listen to gossip, listen to your instincts and listen to your colleagues.”

[ …] Gamache leaned toward her.

“You need to learn that you have choices. There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?”

She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin.

“They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean.” Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. “I don’t know. I need help. I’m sorry. And one other.” Gamache thought for a moment but couldn’t bring it to mind. “I forget. But we’ll talk more about it tonight, right?”

“Right, sir. And thank you.” Oddly enough, she realised she meant it.

After Gamache had left, Nichol brought out her notebook. She hadn’t wanted to take notes while he was talking. She figured it would make her look foolish. Now she quickly wrote: I’m sorry, I don’t know, I need help, I forget.”


Choosing what you will put in your garden. Which plants prefer sun, which need shade, and which like both. Finding out which plants do better (or worse) beside others. Spacing them out, weeding them, watering them. Adding nutrients to the soil. Protecting them from pests and garden thieves, maybe putting up a fence to keep both out. Determining when to harvest, and how often. Enjoying it straight out of the garden. Deciding what to keep, and how it is best kept – preserving, pickling, drying. Sharing with others. Keeping seeds to begin again next year.

Choosing how we live our lives. What have we put in, and what do we hope to harvest? Choices that we made twenty years ago may have set certain paths in place, but we can still see choices along our path every minute of every day.

What will you choose, today?

Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.

Leave a Reply