I know the stories told to us... smoking will kill you. And while I do agree, I find that for some reason anytime I smoke a cigar… my life is just a little better… a little more complete.
We just brought in a few boxes of cigars to the Trading Post for our humidor. Since we are promoting cigars… I figured it was a good time to explain why I believe in them… and why we are promoting them… and why I hope you come in one day, and pick one out. In fact, if you make a trip to come visit us, then have a section that you can pick out on the house.
Smoking a cigar, at least for me, requires entering into something. It feels ancient. Something of past traditions and rarely found anymore. Dare I say… masculine? The days of our grandfathers generation included porches, garages with space to chat, and rocking chairs…. Those spaces meant to rest and be present to the day. They were there to connect people.
Yet today, those have been replaced with things we can get instant. Microwaves, cell phones, instagram, text messages, and on demand television sets all promising to connect us more. And while we are so “connected,” we seem so disconnected from actual people. We are just so dang busy. And if there one thing I struggle with the most… it is taking time to reflect, to pause, to be present with friends, and enjoy the day.
A cigar has always found its way to re-connect me.
A cigar by its nature consists of fire… and of course smoke… it requires you to be outside… and in nature. You have to pause. Take part in some ancient tradition that seems to get in your bones. There is no new technology in it. Or breakthrough features to distract you. You breathe and breathe out, taste the flavors with a pause and a reflective stillness we rarely experience.
I also love the space and time it takes. You have in some ways a really long fuse… showing you the time. You know you have time to take to share that story you have been waiting to tell a friend. Within that cigar is a carved out allotted time. It says you have a half hour. Keep talking…
A cigar also has this way of making you look around. I can remember those pauses at Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park sitting on a rock in the middle of a mountain lake while fishing with friends. You look around. You take in what is around you. You reflect. You aren’t starting at screens or even your cigar. You are observing, taking things in. Watching a buddy land a greenback and cheering him on. You tend to really experience the world near you.
And maybe the best reason… the most important one... is that while I have smoked a few cigars alone, the best ones, the more memorable ones have almost always been with friends and mentors. From rivers, over campfires, and on porches… they involved friends. Brothers in the battle and fight. Honest and real moments with other guys. Topics might chart their course from from football to fishing reports, and reflections of memories long ago, to where you want to be. But the best ones, the ones I remember, always include some level of honest sharing and vulnerability. The kind we all need, but rarely find.
As the end draws near… you are left with some sort of fullness… some sense of completeness… you are finishing something… yes, a cigar but more than that... a conversation that had been long overdue… a needed break from all of life and the stress.
Can enough cigars kill you? Sure. But learning the balance... well... you are on your way to a good life.