G. L. Pease
I love the first bowl in a new pipe. The courtship. The anticipation. The excitement. I fill the bowl carefully, taking time to appreciate the workmanship, the grain, the balance, the cut. I test the draw, then strike a match, and slowly tease its fire over the surface of the tobacco, drawing softly, inviting the flame to caress the leaf, bringing it to life in wisps of fragrant smoke. I savour the taste of those first puffs, of the wood as it warms and begins to meld with my chosen tobacco, and contemplate the gradual increase of richness and flavour that will come through the first dozen or so bowls, and even beyond. The ritual engages my senses and my memory in a similar way to that of a fine old wine as I swirl, sniff, and explore it as it develops in the glass.