June 28, 2009

In addition to rabbits

No rabbits allowed

The Campus where Friendly Green Conference Was Held offered beautiful outdoor places for conversation: courtyards filled with flowering bushes, a fountain that made lovely water noises, a quiet pond, a grassy knoll beneath some totem poles.

One morning I woke up at 5:30 am to explore a protected area on the edge of campus, a forested ravine that was acquired by the university in 1993 after a student-led activist group convinced them that they needed to save the forested ravine from development. I walked in under the tree canopy, followed a dirt path that wove through ferns and over a stream, and watched the sun sending rays of light through tree branches.

One evening, Easy-going German Friend and I walked through a formal garden that was carefully fenced to keep the rabbits out. The flowers were just past peak, and the grounds were strewn with petals, gorgeous colours spread across the grass. “Are you sure this is a college campus?” I kept asking my friend as we’d turn the corner to see a stand of bamboo or a reflecting pool or another carefully groomed bed of flowers.

Of course, the best thing about Beautiful Campus on Canadian Island is that the walkways and buildings were infested with Friendly Green Folk. In my book, a college campus can only be improved by herds of Friendly Green Folk trampling into a dining hall or gathering for a plenary or sitting on the grass to talk. More than 650 of us who descended upon the campus for this conference. We almost outnumbered the rabbits.

8 comments:

kathy a. said...

wow, that's gorgeous! and it sounds like the campus was a perfect setting for the actual gathering, with all the talking and eating and communing you needed to do. rabbits or no, any of the airport hiltons would not have worked for this conference.

kathy a. said...

in the spirit of full disclosure, i have a certain degree of PTSD around a particular airport hilton. and i have unfailingly good memories of events on various college campuses.

bsouth said...

Beautiful place - it certainly doesn't look like a college campus.

liz said...

I love the idea of herds of Friendly Green Folk. It sounds like something that Gary Larson could illustrate.

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

I love the idea of herds of Friendly Green Folk.

Well, it certainly sounds better than "an infestation of FGF". :-)

Magpie said...

That garden! I love it!

Karin said...

That is just a beautiful place!!

kim wells said...

What a pretty campus! I love college spaces that go out of their way to be nice like this instead of the boxy institutional look. :) I'm jealous you got to go there.