Peter and Rebekah Laue - 965 Cloud Cap Avenue - Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA

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Letters from a Soldier

Fort Ord, California
March 1953

My Dear Ones, March 2, 1953

I have pushed one thing to one side and another piece of work into the other direction. I now have room to say hello to you. It has been a nice day; my soul has grown stronger, only my body is a little worn. But I shall send it in for a repair tonight. Tomorrow morning it will be brand new.

Yesterday I tried to write a composition. I did a lot of thinking but just did not seem to be able to write.

I would like to mention that I am insured for, I think, a sum of $10,000.00

Sleep tight,
Your boy, Dieter

My dear Parents and Brother, March 4, 1953

Once more I have the golden opportunity to write you. I have a comfortable outdoor desk arrangement. Have two boxes to sit on and three other boxes constitutes my desk. I am sitting in the shade because overnight the weather has turned warm. I was so happy this morning when I stepped out of the barracks to be greeted by a milder weather.

And I was so happy last night to receive three whole letters. I was still working in the kitchen when I picked up my mail. I decided, therefore, to finish my work and read the letters as a kind of dessert. I had been working in and around the kitchen since early in the morning. When nine o’clock P.M. rolled around I was not ashamed to call myself tired. Besides your dear letter, Mother, I received mail from Miss Fry and George.

All that wonderful mail acted like medicine. I just sat in one place and soaked it all in. I became revitalized again. All feeling of tiredness was gone. I washed some clothes yet, cleaned a pair of shoes, and took a long, long, hot shower. When I finally slipped into bed about midnight, I was not tired anymore, as I thought. But before very long, sleep had taken me to the beyond.

But yesterday was a good day. There was a great wisdom connected with the work I did. I learned something yesterday while cleaning a dirty, stopped-up drainage. It was quite a mess I had on my hands, and the water just wouldn’t hurry up and run off. I had taken off the metal disk with holes; you know, that thing which keeps the big parts out of the water. I stuck a hose into the drain, but without any success. And about this time my teacher called my attention to an analogy. This analogy right away made 100% sense to me. Look at human beings who are greedy and selfish. These human beings want to pour as much as possible into themselves. Grease and water, scotch and milk, everything flows into the cavity. And when it does not move fast enough, the selfish and greedy removed that disk with holes from their mouth. And in flow big stones and bones and sticks along with the cleaner food. The greedy ones cannot sift out the good from the bad.

And is it a surprise, then, that greedy people get mental and physical constipation?

When I looked at that messy, stopped-up drain, I realized what effect my shortcomings have on my mind and body. It made me much more eager to practice self-control and generosity.

And there is another interesting experience which happened yesterday. Tuesdays we all eat “C” rations. It is the food which the soldiers in the field eat daily. They contain just about everything a soldier likes and needs. The ration contains small envelopes of concentrated coffee and also envelopes of milk powder. The cook throws all these things out. I was tempted to gather all the coffee and milk powder together that we might send them to Germany. I started to do this. However, I found myself getting so greedy and nervous and losing that wonderful peace such that I made myself stop. I threw away what I had gotten. And I realized that if I could not do it with calmness, I’d rather not do it at all.

What do those few dollars saved mean? It is much more important to use the time in a more divine way. And something else became much clearer to me. Those boys on kitchen police have a chance to snatch some extra things from the supply room. The boys thought they were getting something for nothing. There is no such thing. I saw that one day they would be paying for those extra matches or cookies from a few years back. I would have done the same thing the others are doing, but yesterday I saw the foolishness involved and I shall do it no more.

When I started to work yesterday, I often glanced to my side to see who was watching. When the supervisor happened to be close by, I would naturally work harder. But now I realize the folly in my way. God watches every second. Be always eager to please Him. You can be sure He never lifts His eyes from you. I was cleaning dirty, greasy garbage pails. I tried to do a good job. This attitude is always uplifting, even when you clean garbage pails.

A few days ago I saw two boys pushing each other around. I noticed how the grass beneath their feet was bending and breaking. The boys were not in the least aware of this. And then I thought, “How often do we step on other people’s feelings and never realize what we are doing?” We must develop a great deal of love before we will not hurt life in its different forms anymore.

Today I looked at a flower. I knelt down in front of it and looked close. I saw a beautiful California poppy. It was blooming. The petals were so delicate. Was there ever a greater craftsman or artist than God? If anyone ever thinks that he is good, let him just remember the Creator. All of us are laymen. Just look at a little poppy flower and you will be convinced of this. There was also a cute little bug inside the flower. He was yellow with pollen. The bug was running busily around in his motel. He seemed as busy as Papa when working at the Aquarium Stock Company and as busy as Mother filing cards. I wonder sometimes whose work is more important? Some boys asked me what I found when they saw me on the ground. I found a flower. Yes, you can say that I found it because previously the flower had been only a yellow spot for me.

If you will send me a pocket-notebook with necessary accessories, I will make you a carbon copy when I write. I don’t know if it pays. But it pays to make you happy. If I can make you genuinely happy, it will be no trouble to send you a copy.

You might like to know that we have another C.O. (Conscientious Objector) in our company. I spoke to the boy before but only learned today that he was a C.O.

Thanks for the letters, Mother. I received the one from Harry Herbert and McLind today. Your letter is always doubly precious to me, even if it is only a line. All your good thoughts are a big push for me. Your boy wishes you a night of rest and that on the new morning you will be strong. Always remember to put first things first.

Your boy, Dieter

Hellmut, please tell Lillian and Beverly that I have not forgotten them. Please give them a hearty handshake from me.

Dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut, March 5, 1953

Then end of the day was again made rich, for a letter from you arrived. And also Ruth’s letter was read, only to be read over and enjoyed once more. I received the letter from Beverly. I enjoyed that, too. Do you want those letters back? Mr. Inwood had written to me once. A weekly Unity would be quite nice. The seeds that I sowed are mainly the cause of this card. How are they doing? I am a bad boy to have forgotten about them. Please give them best wishes and tender care.

I am going to be barracks’ guard for a whole week while the boys do a lot of shooting. Today they shot their rifles for the first time. Tonight they have to clean them. George wrote me. What he wrote me was just what I needed today. Please give George my love. I will think of him tonight.

Your boy, Peter

Dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut, March 7, 1953

Yesterday Papa’s wonderful letter arrived together with that wonderful package. I am so happy to receive so much love from you. It helps me so much to sit straight and fight on no mater what happens. A letter is so uplifting for me that it has many a time carried me over the hump. And, when I untied the string of the package, I felt such love! I could almost see the loving hands that tied the string around the package.

Yesterday was a little hard for me. I wonder if it had something to do with Yogananda’s passing? In a mysterious way (here is the unfinished card) the letter has superseded this.

Your boy

Dear Mother, dear Papa, dear Hellmut, March 7, 1953

There must be a minute somewhere to write you a letter. This morning I wrote about half a postal but just could not finish it. I wanted to let you know so badly how much I enjoyed your mail. When I read and reread Papa’s letter, I could just about see him sitting in front of me. Your mail helps me a lot. When I untied the wonderful packages, those loving hands who tied the string seemed so near to me. I don’t know what it is, but yesterday and today there is a heaviness around me. I think it is because of Yogananda’s passing a year ago. Somehow the amulet with rose petals seemed to slip outside yesterday. I mean, it came from under my t-shirt so I could see it when I glanced down. But I am really not sad, I am only silently contemplating and waiting, waiting for the light to break through.

Just now I had a second helping of raisins. They taste so good because they are made so good. God does not have to put a brand on His product. If it comes from Him directly, it is the best. If we just eat in a relaxed and contemplative spirit, then we would realize with how much love God grew everything. I have noticed with myself that I am thinking already about the next delicious spoonful when I have not even swallowed what I have in my mouth. In this little observation I have seen that I am not living in the present. That is one of the hardest things to learn, to live now. Most of the time you can catch yourself living in expectation of the future. People are usually sad and unhappy because they cannot be where they want to be. My friends here are not sick, they get good food, but they are not happy. Either they are waiting for the next meal or the next weekend for the next furlough, and so on.

And the raisins are also so good because they have passed through your hands. That makes a big difference.

I realized the other day that only when we have developed a great deal of selfless love, will we be able to help the world in a greater way. I have noticed that usually people have to ask me to receive help. But when I have been an obedient child of God and been unselfish and controlled, then can I enter into the minds of others and give aid and comfort to the silent question. That prayer on the bronze tablet means more to me now than when I left you a few weeks ago. Especially the line: “. . . And help me to enter into the mind, etc.” I repeat to myself. I think the time has come when I would like to memorize the prayer. Mother, may I ask you to send it to me? Please.

This little notebook is just right. I can easily slip it into my pocket. I have now a portable desk. Did I tell you already that I am barrack guard for a week? I have to see to it that the barrack stays neat and clean. It is a funny thing how I seem to get this type of work wherever I go. They gave me this job because this coming week is practically nothing but rifle practice. But then again, there might be a change of orders, like so often happens in the army. I will always try to “stay in the divine trend.” Then I will be able to accept any change as the right change.

Dear Papa, I was very happy to receive that good report from our garden. That the poor cucumbers died is my fault. I should have known it was too early. I wonder if any of the green peppers made an appearance? They are in the last bed next to the fence.

I was wondering which letters you would like me to return? I don’t have much storage room here. Thank you for telling me to do my best in the classroom work. I doubt, though, if we will actually be tested on the material. Especially I, who am only in an eight-week cycle. Three weeks of the cycle will be over today.

I have never had Philosophy 619, but whatever it is, Hellmut will only benefit if he will do some work of his own in the class. I found that you can hurt yourself if your idea is only to get by. You are only wasting time then.

Dear Mother, I also received your dear letter this noon; the one you wrote at seven o’clock Friday morning. That was a beautiful way to start the day. I have not yet written to Alice. But I will do it. If you should call her up sometimes, please give her my best regards. Maybe it would even be nice to make a special call for this.

The other day God showed me that He watches when you do even the littlest things. On my day of induction, we had eaten our noon and evening meal in a little restaurant next to the Mode O’ Day building. A boy at my table asked me for salt. There was none at our table, so I got some from another table for the boy. They boy looked like a rough and easy-going fellow. When I saw the boy a few days later, I saw the hidden beauty in his soul. A few days ago this boy remarked to a friend, “I know Laue. He got some salt for me from another table when we were at the induction center.” When I heard what the boy said, I knew that God sees everything you do.

I have eaten 1-1/2 ounces of raisins less one raisin. I enjoyed them very much. I will eat the last one when I have sealed this letter. I will think of you and Reverend Bernard and Yogananda tonight during the meditation. I will see you in the spirit of the meditation.

Your boy who loves you very much,

Would you or could you send me a few stamps, please?

My dear Papa, Mother and Brother Hellmut, March 9, 1953

My good friends spent all day on the rifle range. The Peter boy stayed at home and guarded the barrack against the big bad wolf. He swept the floor and watered the lawn, tucked in shoelaces and lined up footlockers. There is really not much difference between here and home. We all act like brothers together; we share in work and play alike. Before, I offered someone a candy bar. He did not want it. But he put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a Cup-of-Gold candy bar for me. There are many boys with real hearts of gold.

Today we all had “C” rations, all the food came from cans. The type of food the boys in the field eat. There are three boys sitting in the corner of the barrack who do not seem to like “C” rations. They sneaked over to the PX and bought their supper there. I can see that it exists of ice cream, pie and orange juice. My supper this evening included a big dish of mixed fruit, prunes, cherries, apricots, pineapple and grapefruit, some crackers, a cookie and two pieces of candy. One piece was included in the “C” ration; the other piece was given to me by a kind heart. And as a special dessert I received your wonderful mail. And if I should still be hungry, there are still more wonderful things left from your gift package. We are all enjoying the wonderful contents.

Your letter, dear Hellmut, made me very happy. Especially as you are so busy, it was sweet of you to find time to write. I realize that you have no time to waste anymore. But this is really a blessing in disguise. If you have to make every minute count, you will get something done. Don’t you remember how much of your precious time was scattered to the wind the previous semester? Remember the little saying on the calendars: “To fill the hour means happiness.”

I can see that Mother has now many things to fill her hours. She seems to have a little vise to squeeze her work together in order to make room for those extra things that always pop up. It never fails, I say, anything you want to do bad enough, you have time for.

I had this feeling that there was not this great urge in you to learn French. I am not worried at all that this semester will make a casualty out of you. The harder it is, the more you will learn, and the greater will be the reward. Remember that if you knew the stuff already, you would not be in school. And remember to give the least attention to your grades. You want something in your head and not on a piece of paper.

Stationary and stamps and Guideposts also arrived today. I will probably leave Guideposts until last. First, I write letters. I have plenty to write on now, but I am short a writing tool. Starting next week the company will be legally permitted to go to the PX. Then I will be able to supply myself with everything I need. However, a package will never be sent back.

It is nice of you to save the money I send. But please don’t save all. An unknown soldier on the front line likes packages as much as your boy Peter does.

At breakfast this morning a touch of greed stuck its ugly head out from somewhere. But it was too late already to check the invader. I made myself hold a prune pit from the meal in my mouth in order to remind myself of what happened. As I walked to lunch this noon, something became clearer to me. The idea of the Last Supper and the breaking of the bread I saw in a new and greater light. Every time we put a piece of nourishment in our mouth, we are partaking of this holy ceremony of eating of the Body of God, for He is in all and He is all. God gives Himself away generously and unhesitatingly at every meal. We should learn to eat in a spirit of thankfulness and reverence.

This afternoon I silently sewed some slippers for a friend. You should have seen those surprised eyes a few minutes ago. But this boy had a hunch who fixed the slippers. A beautiful red apple slipped as silently on my bed as I repaired the slippers. Those are the simple little ways for true love to be born.

Please do not send me a pencil anymore; I hinted for one before. A friend just brought me one along from the PX.

Dear Hellmut, I think I might understand the feelings you have expressed in your letter. I will always try to act in the true spirit of love.

Good cheer to you all from your boy,

My dear Mother, Papa, and Hellmut, March 10, 1953

So be it, a letter tonight. I have paper and thoughts at hand and plentiful. It seems to me the Lord provided me very generously with writing paper when you sent this tablet. And I trust that God won’t let me down when it comes to good thoughts to fill these pages with. I, myself, will look forward to reading these pages, for as yet the blueprints are wet. God keeps the stencil in spirit somewhere. Only with each day of obedient living will He let us take a glimpse.

Oh yes, that letter from my dear Mother arrived today. I read your sweet lines written midnight Saturday and Sunday afternoon at about eight o’clock Tuesday evening. And I read them again about two-and-a-half hours later, just before writing you these lines. I kind of get into a good writing spirit after I read your letters. I want to be sure to thank Papa for the “God Bless You” in the other letter. I sure noticed that it was his handwriting. I wanted to mention it right away, but somehow I forgot. I will leave it to you, Mother, whether or not you want to read my mail to others. Just don’t brag. That hurts me very much.

The other boy who is a C.O. (Conscientious Objector) sleeps in another barrack. He is a C.O. because of his church affiliation. But there is probably a deeper reason. But I don’t feel I want to investigate.

This morning was a beautiful morning. It had rained and the air was fresh and warm. The clouds had parted and some stars twinkled cheerfully during their last minutes of nightly rule. A silvery slice of the moon added a seldom seen touch of beauty to the sky. I looked up at the heaven and saw all this. This was a beautiful beginning of a new day. I was happy to be where I was. And then I knew that if we have no desire for any particular place on earth, we can be anywhere we want to be. The minute we relinquish all desire, everything is ours. That sounds quite odd, but I feel it is true.

And then there is another thought that swept into my mind as I swept the barrack floor this morning. Do you feel there is anything wrong about throwing a piece of paper on the street? If there would be the street sweeper standing in front of you that minute and he would pick up your paper, how would you feel? You would feel pretty low, I know. Most likely you would not throw the paper on the street. Why, then, be deceived by time, if you know so surely that what you do is wrong? Why let the passing of a few hours or days make you unaware and cause you to disobey a law? The street sweeper will definitely be there to clean up. And why make it hard for yourself: For in the end we all pick up our own papers.

I have room for one more thought. Do you write your letters with lots of love? Yes, I know you do. Do you care for your children with a lot of love? Yes, I know you do. Do you think an apple tree grows his apples with less love than you use in caring for your children? No, he uses equal amounts of love to grow all his apple children. Love is the element which sustains, protects and makes the apples sweet and colorful. We should learn to taste that love in the apple as I can taste your love in your letter.

Well, good night, it’s time to draw a line under March the tenth and prepare for March the eleventh.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, March 11, 1953

I am glad to have a postcard handy tonight. I am a little bit tired. I have plenty of writing supplies now. I will let you know when I am low. Thank you, dear Mother, for the messenger letter announcing the package.

From Clay I received a most wonderful letter today. I will save it, read it again, and then send it to you.

Harry Herbert also wrote a sweet letter.

Everyone is so kind to me. I try to pass the kindness along to others.

Yes, I go to church on Sundays whenever possible. I will write you about the little church I attend a little later, or otherwise I will tell you about it when I see you. When that will be is written in the stars. But it will be, I know. I love you.

Your boy,

My dear Mother, my dear Papa, and my dear Hellmut, March 12, 1953

That wonderful package has certainly precipitated a letter for you. It makes me peppy already to see that wonderful package in front of me. You should have heard the words of praise from the boys. One comment was, “This is the best package I have ever seen!” Or, “I certainly have respect for the person who made this package.” Or, “That’s what’s’ lacking here, what you have in your package.”

I unpacked your package carefully and slowly, to be sure to notice all the love with which each knot was tied and each box of raisins was placed. I am enjoying your gift very much and my friends are enjoying it with me. One very fine boy loved the pumpernickel so much that I could not help but give him a package. He is transferring to another company tomorrow, so I silently slipped the bread into his duffel bag. I know that if I would have made a big give-away ceremony, the boy would not have taken the bread.

Everyone enjoys your wonderful gift with me. If you could see the good will and joy your package spreads, you would be very happy.

You know, I have discovered a way of enjoying one piece of candy as if it were two. Here is the method. Someone gives me a piece of his candy or some fruit. I accept it and am very happy about the kind gift. Then, at the right moment, I pass the gift to someone else who I think might enjoy it. His joy is again my joy. This evening someone gave me a piece of candy. Before I had a chance to think of sharing, it was already on its way downstairs. I tried to make good by buying two pieces of candy and giving them to two friends.

Somehow I realized two days ago these words of Jesus more completely: “Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Someone had neglected to straighten out his footlocker. Should I be mad at the boy for this? I will have to do it now. No, I will love him more in order that he may also let love grow in his heart. For when we have true love, we will never neglect to do even the smallest duty. When I looked over my past, I saw so many things that I had neglected to do. God has been very patient with me. There is no reason why we should ever become impatient or angry.

The prunes are wonderful. Everyone likes them and everyone’s stomach likes them, too. Tonight I soaked a few for someone who is not feeling very well. I think the boy will enjoy them very much in the morning. I eat them one at a time. I try to make a sermon out of each prune. Each prune contains the Great Mystery.

We just had bed check. The C.Q. in charge of quarters has to see to it that all the children are in bed. I was only on top of my bed, but that is good enough.

Today – this evening – I had an unexpected surprise. I am finished sweeping the barrack floor. I will be going from now wherever the troops go. Instead of a rifle, I carry a first aid pack. I will wear a helmet with a red cross on it. That feels so good. I had it on tonight already. The helmet makes me very conspicuous. Some people came to me already and asked for medicine in a kidding way. My medicine will always be a silent, “God bless you.”

Yes, things are turning out all right. Half of my basic training is up this week. Things are going fine. It’s ship ahoy! for the Peter boy. Good night and thanks a lot for your love and for your package.

A lot of boys are having sore throats here. If it is not too expensive, maybe you can send a little bit of that chewing gum along. My throat was a little bit rough for a while, but now it feels like better again.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, March 13, 1953

Your letter, dear Mother, was again a sweet surprise for me. I am taking a spiritual vitamin tablet when I read your sweet lines. Today I was standing almost all day in the sun and ocean breeze. I have really red cheeks tonight. I learned a most wonderful lesson today while observing the carefree seagulls gliding through the air. The parable of the birds neither sowing nor reaping but still being provided for spoke to me in a very real and convincing way.

Your boy,

Yogananda’s words are wonderful. Thank you.

My dear Hellmut, my dear Mother and my dear Papa, March 15, 1953

This Sunday is drawing to a close. The stars are shining brightly for quite a while already. I don’t know what time it is. You might just be in your Sunday evening meditation.

Today was the first day the boys are off restrictions. That means in the evening we can go any place on the post as long as we are in bed by eleven. And if we were good little soldiers all week, we will be rewarded with a pass on Saturday afternoon or evening to leave the post. When the boys got their first pass this afternoon, they took off for the neighboring towns like a bunch of hungry lions. But Peter stayed in the barrack and enjoyed the silence. And I also visited some friends via a letter.

The printed card you received is nothing extraordinary. Don’t save it, please. I am quite happy being the Red Cross man of the company. I was called upon to fix a boy’s little finger. He had a small cut on top of the finger. It was only a little thing but a big thing for the boy. I put a band-aid on the cut and blessed the finger. Tomorrow I shall do a little bit of running around to get a complete set of first-aid equipment. And, also, I might do a little bit of extra reading on the subject. If God wants it so, I will be going to medical training school in a little more than four weeks.

May I just mention the sea gulls once more? They looked so clean and carefree and healthy gliding through the air that I could not help but think of we humans. We build a house to keep us protected from the weather. We must have a fancy bathroom to keep clean and neat. We spend half of our lives in providing food for our stomachs. The seagulls do all this on the side. They have the deep trust that God will always provide for them. And God does provide for them. God would do the same for us if we would have the trust of a seagull.

I am rolling a prune pit around in my mouth since a while. And I thought this yesterday in regard to the prunes: Can you imagine, Peter, that at some time in the past this prune was a beautiful blossom and slowly it matured into the prune? A little tender blossom has changed into the prune, a fruit with a hard pit and soft flesh all around. This change was quite a miracle. It was too hard for me to understand this miracle. To think that it all starts with a little seed and then grows and grows until it is ready to support another form of life. To think that I, too, was so small twenty years ago; to think that I was only a thought in your mind. It is a great mystery and miracle. To understand God and His ways we must be very wise.

I am sending a couple of things I cannot use anymore. You will be getting $45.00 directly from the army now every month. I don’t need much money, but my brothers like a little something once in a while. What I have left over at the end of the month I will send you.

Now I will get ready for the night and for the next day. It is a few minutes before nine. It has been a nice day. I am thinking of you now. You are probably singing a closing prayer. I wish you a happy, happy week.

Your boy who loves you and tries to love all like He loves you.


My dear Papa, Hellmut and Mother, March 16, 1953

Your dear letters of late Thursday afternoon and Friday evening are spread out in front of me. It is such a treat and temptation to write you. I enjoy reading your letters and receiving your love. It is something which does not fill me up at the expense of feeling full.

Your dear package has certainly been a package of pure love already. And there is always something left for that longing look. You know, it just wouldn’t taste right anymore to put all those wonderful things in my stomach. My food is a happy smile and to hear, “Oh boy, that sure was good!” exclamation. Tonight also came those three bars of Houton’s Chocolate (that was real love), the prayer and Unity.

I am well supplied now; it will be a while before I have everything digested. I do not want to accumulate lots of things here. I will let you know when I am ready for a new supply. The little black notebook with possible refills is fine to write on. But I have plenty of everything now. The stamps are coming in very handy now. The boys seem to sense that I have an extra supply. I have sold a couple and lent a couple already to those who need them.

I have also put a few band-aids on some wounds. It’s a funny thing, but I had a hunch to put some band-aids in my pocket. So I returned to my locker and got a few. A few minutes later I walked into the kitchen and saw a boy looking at his bleeding thumb. My hunch was right. I put a band-aid on the boy’s finger, blessed it and left the kitchen.

I know you people like pictures. If I can have some taken it will depend on how - -. Well, it is better not to wait for any. But I can tell you what my friend said, “Peter, you have put on a couple of pounds since I saw you first.”

This afternoon I saw how nice the Law is working. Either my friend or I had the chance to sleep for an hour in an unmolested little room. I let my tired friend sleep that extra hour. I was tired also, but all of a sudden I wasn’t tired anymore. And when we marched home at about 5:30 P.M., I was so peppy that I could throw my shoulders back and really march good. And I looked at the silvery-lined clouds of the evening sky and the California Poppies which had gone to sleep already. I was very happy. And I knew then that I was marching in the ranks of the warriors of the light, and I knew that I was trying to keep in step with them.

Dear Hellmut, remember that one sure sign that you are learning something at U.C.L.A is that it is hard for you. There is something for you to learn in school; otherwise you would not be there. Don’t be ambitious for grades like I used to be. My grades don’t mean anything to me now. This is a sure sign that they are only of temporary value. Don’t hesitate to ask Revered Bernard for advice. He is able to know your problems and might have just the right word or you.

My basic training will probably be over in four weeks. Vacations a soldier should never expect or anticipate getting. If I will ring the door bell one day, it will be a surprise.

Good night,

Your boy, Peter

My dear Ones at home, March 17, 1953

Your dear letter of Saturday evening, dear Mother and Papa, brought me again a basket full of joy. Tonight I will only send you a card and tell you about the California Poppies, then I will wash my clothes and then slip into bed a little earlier.

I am already enjoying the announced package. Soon I will be able to buy all things, but to know your hands have blessed a package makes it precious for me.

When we left the company area this morning and marched into the field, the poppy flowers were all asleep; the yellow blossoms were all closed yet. As the sun rose in the sky the buds all opened. A yellow hue covered the fields. Our souls don’t open with the rising sun because our soul buds are tied together by craving and selfishness. Let us cut these ties and the world will be a field of light.

Your boy,

Dear Folks at home, March 19, 1953

Again I am taking advantage of the postals you sent me. That means I will be a few minutes earlier in bed. Your dear letter, dear Mother, was again a surprise. And I enjoyed the articles about S.R.F. very much also. Someone told me about it last Sunday morning and I told the person that my mother will send me the article. I can see that you have heard what I said. I can see that I do not have to write my wishes to you anymore. I will just think them.

Do you know what empty candy wrappers mean to me? They mean unfulfilled cravings. The way to get some enjoyment and benefit from a candy bar is to share it. And the more we share, the greater is the joy.

Your boy,

My dear Ones at Home, March 20, 1953

The candy gift was delivered this evening to Pvt. Laue. It was a sweet surprise for all of us. Everyone who was present received a piece. But the spirit of good will and brotherliness is ever strong and beautiful.

Today we sat in the rain and wind. The boys complained. But I watched the flowers and bushes. They stood silently, firmly and joyously. Many flowers were blooming now also. The scent of the sage flavored my lunch. I felt close to Mother Earth as I sat on the ground and was eating what she so lovingly had grown for me.

Do you know I had bought band-aids and iodine for others and was the first one who needed those things?

Thank you for your unselfish love,

Your boy,

My dear Mother, my dear Papa, my dear Brother Hellmut, March 21, 1953

I have decided to wash no clothes tonight and to polish no shoes. Everything can wait except a letter for you. I am sitting comfortably on top of my bed with my legs crossed; the brown satchel and a folded blanket on top of my legs form the desk. I am thinking of you, thanking you for the letter of Thursday evening. It was a letter that gave me comfort in a lonely moment.

Tonight I had a most wonderful supper. I did not have the regular food that was prepared in the kitchen. Dates and pumpernickel and almonds were on my menu. Papa, I was so happy to have everything in time and always enough. I am beginning to see that if I will only let God provide for me, He will never let me down.

When I walk with my tray through the chow line now, I try to hold back from thinking, “Boy, oh boy! I would surely like to have a lot of this or that.” God knows what the right quantity is. I always used to look on other boys’ trays and compare their quantities with mine. Before I had even started to eat, I was already planning on getting seconds.

Now I try to be different. I know now that the food I receive is the food I need. I try to make my tray real clean every day. I start with the easy-to-digest foods like salad and vegetables. And should the potatoes be cold by the time I get around to them, I am not grieved about such a thing. All the food we eat is grown with such infinite love an patience that a meal should be a sermon in itself.

A few days ago I had received a letter from someone; I think it was one of your dear letters, Mother. I was on the verge of eating something and reading the letter at the same time. But a little voice hinted to me that there is so much love in the food and so much love in the letter that you can know neither loves if you try to enjoy them together.

When I ate the wonderful dates and nuts and bread tonight, I felt that my body was really happy because I ate slowly and thoughtfully.

Yesterday evening a friend came to me and asked, “Peter, do you have some candy for me?” I told my friend everything I had: bread, prunes, and dates. I don’t remember if I mentioned almonds, but I did have some as well as a box of raisins which was also left. I remembered too late a lonely Tootsie roll. But the box of raisins made my friend happy. He wanted to pay me, but I told the boy that he should enjoy the raisins as a gift from a friend.

A little bit later I realize how I should have felt. If my dear brother Hellmut would have been standing in front of me, the spirit with which I would have given him the raisins, I should also have given to my friend. It will be wonderful when every person will be as dear to me as my own brother, mother, father or sister.

Last night it was late, the work was done, almost everyone had gone to bed, and the moonlight and starlight brought peace into my heart. I was tired and tense and a great longing was in my soul. I had not the vision to look beyond the petty things that are today and are no more tomorrow. There was that great longing which precedes a lesson of life. Dear Reverend Joseph had written me a letter which I received last night. There was strength and comfort in his words. I saw again how God sends his angels in time of need.

But only shortly before I went to bed was the reason for my longing made clear to me. In the evening it had been raining. Then there were no clouds in the sky. When I looked out of the window the moon and stars were shining. They spoke to me and said, “Look to the moon and stars. We will always be here.” And it seemed that in that moment all things which had made my heart heavy and my body tired dropped away from me. Thinking of and looking at the eternal stars and the moon gave me peace. When I looked out of the window a few minutes later, the clouds had covered the moon and the stars, but the peace remained in my heart. A few minutes before I awoke this morning, the voice reminded me several times to look at the moon and the stars.

This afternoon I think you might have heard me call for my parents and brother and the little yellow house. Almost everyone had left the barrack. The boys had received their pass and had scattered into every direction. But I had the feeling to stay put. And I also had no desire to go any place. So I leaned against the window and let the sunshine warm my face. I became very lonely. I began to pray. There was something for me to learn. “How long will it be, though?” I asked God. And it seemed that a voice spoke to me and said, “The whole world is your home, boy.” And then a little while passed and the same voice rang in my ears, except that this time the voice said “my boy.”

That helped me very much. I sat down on my bed and thought, and I realized that wherever there are hearts, there is my home. It will be wonderful to have the whole world as your home. And as the last rays of the sun shone over the rooftop into my window and onto my bed, those last rays of the sun told me that they will always be with me. I have found tonight some permanent friend – the rays of the sun – and the world is my home. Your boy is writing you this letter tonight with gladness in his heart. It is a wonderful thing how my heart gets happier with every word I add to your letter.

I would like to add one more thought before I wish you good night. If you see a candy bar and can stop yourself from eating it, that is good. If you see a candy bar and can stop yourself from wanting it not at all – your eyes may see it but your tongue must not want it – that is even better. There is great freedom in the second state, but I know the ladder leads higher up yet.

Dear Hellmut, do you spell your name Hellmut from now on? Dear Papa and Hellmut, what you write in the margins makes me very happy. To see everybody’s handwriting is just wonderful.

O Mother, I almost forgot. Would you please add a prayer from Yogananda to your letters once in a while? I have time to do a little bit of memorizing and the three prayers of Yogananda which I know, have helped me very much already.

May sunshine and peace be your companion forever; forever,

Your boy,

All my friends I wish the same I am wishing you.

(Postscript, March 22nd, 1953)

It is Sunday morning, a beautiful Sunday morning. I will soon go to church in Monterey and listen to a little Japanese minister speak of God. He is a little man, but his heart is big and it includes many people. Now I shall have a few dates and then leave for church. I will think of you. Writing you this letter was almost like going home.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, March 22, 1953

Once more the sun has moved from East to West. Yesterday I wrote you that my home was where there are hearts. But I think I would like to say today that where the lonely hearts are, there is my home. I tried to make an old man happy today. He was sitting alone on the bench and he looked lonely and tired. I tried to show the man that there was someone in the world who cared for him. Seldom have I seen such a radiant smile as was on the old man’s face. And then God let me feel the happiness of the old man. Four eyes shown brighter after I left the old man. This is a Sunday that I will remember because of the old man.

It is seven-thirty. You are on your way to the Sunday meditation. I will think of you.

Your boy,

My very Dear Ones, March 23, 1953

I quickly want to share the very good news this morning. There has come into me, into both body and soul, such strength and joy and peace overnight that I wanted to let you know. I had the feeling that my last card and letter had a note of sadness in it. Please tell George about it because I wrote him also a letter last night.

Love to you forever.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, March 24, 1953

Tonight I must really make it short, although I would love to make it very long. I think it is past midnight and tomorrow we go on an overnight camping trip. Your letter, Mother, from Saturday evening, that most wonderful Santa Claus package from you, and the sweetest package of love from Miss Frey has cheered Mr. Sleepy away.

But I must not take advantage of Mr. Sleepy. I must give him a few hours to rebuild my body for tomorrow’s tasks. Do you know that your package will make a lot of hearts happy? Not only mine, but many. I have packed some of your dainties into my field pack and I shall be Santa Claus when no one expects it.

Your love makes me forget everything hard about the army. It is just wonderful what miracles it works. When I have time I will write you a letter again. This is only a thank-you note.

I think you will enjoy Mrs. McLind’s letter. It is so full of love.

Your boy now and always,

My dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut, March 24, 1953

A greeting to you at seven-thirty in the morning. Yesterday we had a long but pleasant day. We spent almost all day in the field. It was close to eleven before Peter came marching home. But it was a beautiful spring day with lots of flowers blooming. The sun painted my face a healthy rosy red.

I see that it is time to move out so I have to make it quick.

Yesterday I also had a little chance to use some first aid. I am so happy to help the boys. A kind word or a prune or dates I also try to include in my medicine chest. On the way home I felt refreshed by the scent of the sagebrush. Tomorrow night we will sleep in tents under the stars.

Your boy always,

My dear Mother and Father and Brother, March 25, 1953

The opportunity is golden to write. I have the most perfect job you could dream of. I am guarding the company’s camping equipment. And do you know who is keeping me company? Kind little birds probably never dreamt that their next meal would come from the kitchen of Company F. But the birds knew they would be provided for. What more do they need to know?

This morning there was no sign of a sunny day, but I surely wished that there would be sun. It is about two o’clock now. Except for a few tiny clouds on the Southern horizon, I can only see blue sky and the sun. I wonder what all the sun can see?

We have been brought out to the camping area by truck. It is surely a beautiful place. I am sitting in a grove of old and young live oak trees. Just before I started to write you, I read the poem on the bookmarker which you sent me. And then I looked at the tree trunks and branches of the trees. No one but God could ever twist and bend Life in such artistic ways. The trees are Life. There are green hills all around me except for an opening in the east. A hundred yards in front of me the water of a pond glistens. To be more specific, it is a pond and swamp combination.

Yesterday, when I was standing in line for my noon meal, I thought, “God has provided for you again.” And then I happened to look at a small blooming bush. I noticed that God had not even forgotten the bumblebee, who was just drinking a cup of honey.

And how timely arrived that wonderful package with candy and raisins and figs and nuts and, oh, so much. I have a few of those wonderful things with me. Just as much as a band-aid is the proper thing for a cut, so is a candy bar proper for that tired and hungry look. I have an empty band-aid box filled with goodies for the stomach. I now call the contents, “Band-aids for the stomach.”

In town and at the PX I can buy everything I need. The only – but pretty big – difference between a candy bar or box of fruit that I buy and one that you send is that you have added your love to everything you touched.

I realized yesterday much more than before why people don’t always have a super-abundance of everything. I had eaten a nice and satisfying supper. My body had received what it needed. Then there came so unexpectedly that wonderful package from you. I nibbled a little on the wonderful things. Then I asked God to help me know when the right time was to eat and to share. And I think I should ask God now to give me the strength to wait and be patient. That chocolate sometimes itches pretty badly in my left pocket.

Dear Mother and Papa and Hellmut, you should have seen the package of chocolate Miss Frey sent me yesterday. That love almost brought tears into my eyes. I could just look at the gift and feel myself gently touched by love. Through your dear letters, Mother, and through the loving greetings of Papa and Hellmut, I am learning a very wonderful thing. I am beginning to see and feel that all articles written for the purpose of helping others have the same beautiful love in them as your letters. The thing that gives the special touch of love to your letters is that they are written especially for your boy by a mother’s heart.

When I read in Unity Magazine today, I noticed for the first time that Great Love of the person who wrote the composition. We so often get a feeling of coldness from printed matter that has been written for the multitude. This need not be if we will try to put ourselves into the mind of the person who wrote the article.

I also read some papers from the Expression class today. I felt a great love and wisdom in those words. Would you please buy me a subscription for a year of the newly begun Expression Magazine? Beverly will be able to tell you how to get the subscription. You might like to read the monthly magazine first, and then you might send it to me or save it until I come home.

I think I am receiving a net pay of $70.00 a month. That will go up a few dollars after I have completed a certain amount of basic training. I believe it is after I have been in the army for sixteen weeks.

You know, it is a funny thing about having a picture taken. I thought the other day that it would not be “I” tomorrow anymore because we are constantly changing. I am beginning to see what Beverly meant when she said that she does not have fixed ideas. She always leaves room for change and growth. I like the way David M. put it when he wrote me. He said, “Always try to do the best you know how, but always be ready to question it.”

God has been very kind to me. While the boys are learning how to throw a grenade, He permitted me to read and write and relax.

This letter probably won’t leave the post until Friday. The schedule says, I think, that we return tomorrow evening to our company area.

Oh yes, that wonderful card with all those signatures of good wishes and strength and love arrived. It made me very happy. I have it in my pocket and will look at it again. Your dear last letter I am also carrying with me, dear Mother.

It is Thursday evening. We have returned from our overnight camping trip. It feels so good to be inside at night. I surely thought a lot of the loving sun when I was trying to sleep in the tent. It was comforting to have the assurance that the sun rises every morning. Just as surely as the sun rises every morning, God will come into our hearts one morning also.

Papa, your dear letter arrived this evening. I was so happy about it. The prayer is just the right one. And that package with its wonderful contents of dates and prunes and pumpernickel, English toffee and raisins parallels exactly Peter’s ideas of a perfect package. I’ll bet Mother remembered my sweet tooth for that toffee. I took the closed package over to my friends and opened it while everyone was eagerly looking on. All the boys’ eyes were as interested in the contents as was I. Everyone enjoyed the unexpected treat very much. Many boys thanked me and I would like to pass their “thank you's” on to you.

I am enclosing the article “The Surveyor.” I think you might enjoy it. And also I am sending you a little feather which I found in the field. Good night to you for now and thank you so much for your great love you are expressing in so many different ways.

Your boy, Peter Laue

The honey is delicious.

My dear Ones in the Yellow House, March 27, 1953

Again you made my day richer by sending me two letters. One you wrote Tuesday and one Wednesday.

Yesterday I memorized the prayer of the Divine Sculptor, and today I recited the poem to myself because what the teacher had to say made me tired.

I am eating the wonderful honey now and am enjoying it very much. It was certainly nice of those thousands of bees to fly from blossom to blossom and gather the honey. I silently thanked the bees and flowers for their gift.

Another week is drawing to a close, but let us learn not to just mark time and count the weeks that have rolled by. Let us learn to live disconnected from the pendulum of the clock and live in the eternal now.

Your boy forever and forever,

My dear Mother and Papa and brother Hellmut, March 29, 1953

When I met Mr. Inwood while hitch-hiking, I never dreamt that I would come to his home as a soldier boy. God had very wonderful forethoughts when He gave me a friend in Carmel. This afternoon I visited the Inwood’s. I was so happy when I walked around the corner and saw their chimney smoking. A cold wind was blowing on top of that. I cannot tell you how happy I was to step into the warm, friendly home. God is very kind to me. God speaks through the Inwood’s.

I am sitting next to the fireplace now, writing you and drinking in the wonderful spirit of a friendly home. I also spoke to some U.C.L.A. students and their soldier-husbands. They were also enjoying the hospitality of the Inwood’s home. The wives are returning to Los Angeles tonight and, as you probably know by now, I gave them a message along for you.

Today has really been a nice day. I went to the Buddhist church in the morning. I arrived early in the church. Instead of waiting outside, I joined the little Sunday school children. It was a joy for me to watch those little people so full of life. It is so wonderful to see life in its different expressions. When I looked at the wood the church was built of, I felt that there was life in it also.

Just now life locked in a log of wood is keeping me warm.

And then there was the service for the older people. I thought of you during the service. It is at the same time that the service in the chapel is given; Reverend Bernard’s service, I mean. During the sermon I received the beautiful feeling of living each moment, to desire to live nowhere else but where God places you for the moment. After the service I was invited to a wonderful lunch prepared by the people of the church. While I was enjoying my lunch, you were probably enjoying a little something in the India House. I ate the rice with two sticks. Toward the end I was able to operate them pretty well.

After the lunch I visited the flowers blooming in a beautiful park. Mother Nature seems to have put on her prettiest dress for Easter.

But the wind was a little too cool and so I retreated into the Carmel Library. I had a wonderful place to write there. And do you know what my eyes happened to see? The March-April edition of the Self Realization Magazine was lying on the magazine table. It was like meeting a good old friend. It surely felt good to look through the magazine and read something here and there. I read the poem: “I Am Lonely No More.”

After I left the library I telephoned the Inwoods. “Come on over, Peter,” was what Mr. Inwood said right away. And here I am.

Yesterday I was told definitely that I have only two more weeks of basic training. About sixty boys of my company will have the eight-week cycle like myself. Next Monday and Tuesday those boys who have this shorter cycle will be put together in one platoon. We will have a kind of summarized form of basic. What my definite orders are after I have completed this training I do not know yet. Where I will go and how much medical training I will receive I do not know yet. But God knows, and He knows what is best for all of us. He has taken care of me so far and will take care of me tomorrow and the day after.

I think you have received the message about the especially good box of candy for the Inwoods. I think they would love such a “thank you” note. Let me say good-bye to you now and visit with the Inwoods a little bit.

So, may I wish you all a happy week, with many joyful hours, and with calmness all the way through. The Inwoods send their very best regards along with this letter.

Your boy now and always,


Could you please thank Valerie Douglas for her loving letter. I misplaced her address but will send her greetings as soon as I find it. If I don’t find it, I’ll ask you to please send it to me. Thank you.

Your boy

And please say hello to Alice for me and tell her that I enjoyed her card very much.

My dear Ones in the Little Yellow House, March 30, 1953

I received Unity and Guideposts from you today. I have read in Unity a little already and enjoyed it very much. I like the simple language.

Today we were standing around for an hour doing nothing. So I pulled out of my pocket the “Prayer at Noon” which Papa copied for me. I felt that I did something in memorizing the poem. When I returned from the Inwoods, I realized how valuable my army training has been for me. If we sit down next to a fireplace all our life, it is very difficult to know the feelings of those who stand outside our door and freeze. If we want to help people, we must understand them. And we must have lived together with them in order to know what their problems and needs are.

Your boy and brother,

Peter-The Lords Scribe and Storyteller

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All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.