“When the night has come and the land is dark…”







Training for my federal law enforcement career at FLETC in Brunswick, GA in 1998 was a mostly miserable experience.


I had no car, no television, no phone, no internet.


There were also 600 men for every woman (approximately).


I was literally fenced in behind chain link and barbed wire; I had a mini-swamp outside below my window forcing me to choose between suffocating heat or the stench of rotting vegetation.


However, those factors created a surprising outcome.




I ended up writing letters to my brother, father and a few friends.


I said things I never would have said, otherwise.


And I regret none of them.


In fact, I’m grateful I wrote ever last syllable.




Now, if you’ve been following my return to writing here over the past few weeks, you’ll have seen I’ve assigned homework. 


Furthermore, if you’ve taken my assignments seriously and done them, you may have noticed a trend they exhibit.


I assure you, there is a larger lesson and further goal in the distance.




Continuing my efforts, this week’s post is another step on that particular road.


However, this one requires some of the emotional strength you’ve been building.


To keep things brief, I’ll get right to it:


Write a letter (or email) to someone (a non-sexual/non-romantic friend/ally/acquaintance) letting them know how much you appreciate them.


Shoot for respectful gratitude.


Neither gush or grovel.


But don’t qualify things, either.


Just show appreciation, respect and humility.




This exercise serves a few purposes:


1} You’ll realize voicing your need for what another person brings to your life makes you neither weak (nor homosexual, depending on whom you contact).


2} You’ll get a clearer image of what you need out of life and from the people you meet along the way.


3} Lastly, you’ll discover just how much taking the time to say a few brief works can impact someone.


If, for some reason, you currently feel unable to do this, I sincerely ask you to try at some point in the future.








5 Responses to ““When the night has come and the land is dark…””

  1. As it so happens, it’s my son’s birthday tomorrow. He turns 24.

    Since it’s the only tenuous communication I have at present I sent him a FB message:

    “Hey, on the road most of tomorrow, so I’ll say Happy 24th today. We haven’t spoken in a long while now, and I never get used to it, but I understand your position – this needs some distance. You’re a grown man now, and you gotta do what you believe is right. Totally respect that. I’m proud of the intelligent and funny guy you’ve grown into, and it gives great satisfaction to know that.

    Stay well. I’m here if you need me. I won’t pester you if you say hello. Love, Dad.”

    So long as he’s living with his mom & stepdad – assuming stepdad’s still in the picture, actually not sure about that – he has to choose between her and me. I’m absolutely certain she would do something like that.

    Stay away from crazy, boys. It’s fragrant bait on a very sharp hook.

  2. […] up to his New Year’s Resolution for weekly posting. This week’s kernel of wisdom: “When the night has come and the land is dark…”. Appreciate someone, he suggests, in writing (actual pen & paper with no auto-correct). You […]

  3. Did this. Great idea. Much appreciated, Ace.

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