The winds of Couchiching

After a night of sleeping on top of the covers at YMCA Geneva Park (it was a very warm night), the winds are blowing and the sky overcast as we head into the first official day of Mindcamp.  Yesterday was what they call Pre-Mindcamp, or, the day when most of the presenters arrive and get settled.

I was deep in conversation with someone in the Hub, or the central meeting place, when I turned around and saw that the room was full.  Colleagues and friends were greeting each other with big hugs and catching up, while a handful of newcomers were getting a taste of the Mindcamp spirit.

I'm up early, as I usually am, catching up on some writing looking out over Lake Couchiching.  The water is a little rough with the wind, but the sun is starting to break through the clouds casting sharp beams across the lawn where Joe Miguez and his volunteers are beginning the process of building the Labyrinth.  As Joe stands marking the centre point, the wind is billowing his pants, giving him the appearance of a candle or a mystic presence.

A small chipmunk who must have wandered in last night when the doors were open is scurrying around, darting between the gaps in the chairs that are scattered through this large gathering hall.  I saw him first out of the corner of my eye disappearing under the skirt of the buffet table.  The next thing I knew he was right at my feet.

Small animals are everywhere at YMCA Geneva Park.  In the brief time I've been sitting here, I have seen several black squirrels running around outside and my striped friend running around in here.  Last night, we actually saw what looked to be a groundhog skulking about the grounds, though I can't be certain that is what it was.

I enjoyed spending the evening working on a painting, set-up at a table under some decent light.  Numerous people wandered up and watched.  It was a great way to ascend into the vibe of Mindcamp and connect with people.


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