Life has changed so much in the last week or ten days, is that all it’s been? It happened so fast, like a nightmare unfolding day after day as businesses close and the lives we used to live interrupted. This isn’t what spring in is supposed to be – it’s supposed to be March Madness, The Masters, baseball beginning to slowly unwind over another summer, vacations, plans for 2020.
Instead it’s closing schools, an economy cut off in mid-stride, jarring orders to stay at home, precautions against a global pandemic unleashed from books or movies – now reality, a battle in our time. In the rush to react, the sense of normal gone – flashes of what’s lost for now break through from time to time – break through the rush of getting through the day, anxious about tomorrow, heartbreak for people across the country facing sickness, and fear and loss.
Many of us have a niche, things we do and share – something that our friends just ‘know’ – a culture, a language, a feeling. It’s odd – many often go through our toughest times alone – others pick us up, console us, lend an ear if not a hand. But all of us at the same time? Not a person among us to say they’ve been through this before.
For those of us gathered here together reading these words, be safe – may we get through this – each of us alone but also together. For now, we might light a cigar, feel the relaxation that comes with the first draw – take a short time out – not an escape but a time to take it all in – remember other times, look an unknown future in the eye. We’re here, we’ll take it as it comes, and we’ll meet again in time. We’ll arrive back where we started and we’ll know each like we never have before. We’ll roll up our sleeves and get it done. We look forward to being here to serve you again in our shops – and while relaxing with a cigar in years to come, appreciate it even more.