I picked up a Louis L’amour book in Mazar-e-Sharif and read it there. Like so much of his writing, a bit stood out above the rest to me and spoke words of wisdom.
From “The Man From Skibbereen”
He rod with guns now, many guns, but the guns no longer reminded him of their presence, for in these days they had become a part of hm, ready to his hand. Men in this land could own guns, not to threaten their neighbor but to ensure themselves of Liberty. The men who shaped this land were men who had lately fought a war for their freedom and they did not wish it to be lost, and so they must keep close to their hands the weapons with which they had won that freedom.
Far off a few lights appeared.
Fort Sanders, Laramie, a few nearby ranches. How warm and welcoming a house light looks to a lonely night-rding man! Someday with luck he would walk into such a house, strike a match, lift the chimney and touch the flame to the wick of his own lamp, sit down in his own house. He would smell the fire smells, te warm cooking smells, and he would stretch his legs under his table with a faint sigh. He would rest then…he would dream, and he would rise from time to time to add a log or to stir the coals in his own fire.
For a time now he had been passing lighted windows, but always in the solitary houses of other men. He slowed his horse. He was near a house and a man was leaving the stable carrying a lantern and a milk pail. He was walking slowly to the house with a small halo of light about his feet, a homely halo, not of heaven this, but of peace, of home.
His door would creek open, it would close behind him, and the night would be dark again, but a resting dark. The man would sit down, relax tired muscles, and reach for a newpaper or a book, or he would talk n low tones to his wife.
“Let us not lose this,” Cris muttered aloud, “Let us not lose this, God, for there is no greater beauty, no better hour.”