As I woke up a short time ago I realized I was dreaming about cigarettes. I have not smoked since 1986 but I remembered a good smell one morning this week as I was heading in to work. It was one of those really nice mild, sunny mornings with a light breeze. A guy on the sidewalk had just lit a smoke. As I walked by, I realized that I really liked that smell. For just a few moments. I remembered being a smoker and lighting that first cigarette in the morning, and inhaling it deeply. Yup, I liked that. Okay, so I am glad I quit, but there were some things about smoking I liked.
That reminded me of the time I worked a whole summer on a tobacco farm, near Simcoe, ON. It was hard work, but the money was good and I needed the money for school. The summer of '73. I have a great memory of a wonderful smell from that time. I worked for a farmer named Hank Bakker and he gave me responsibility for my own field of crop. I never worked in farming before, but I enjoyed it and so Hank kept me on beyond the greenhouse season, which was late May.
I don't know how big my field was, but it was several acres. I had to cultivate it, disc it, plant it, hoe it, irrigate it, do the topping and suckering and by early August, it was one beautiful field of shoulder high tobacco plants. The plants get topped with very nice white flowers and I remember being out at about 5:30 one morning to admire the field. It's kind of like looking in the mirror when you're a teenager. That's when I realized how amazingly good the field smelled. The flowers give off a fragrance that is a cross between honey and vanilla. I won't forget how nice that smelled.