For the first six years that I attended Hutchmoot it was held at the Church of the Redeemer in Nashville.
The Church of the Redeemer has a lovely building, the kind that has been added onto in stages, with ramps and hidden bathrooms, a living room with leather furniture, and two kitchens. Two separate sets of stairs lead to the dining room. Little off-shoot loops hold classrooms and nursery rooms. A playground, complete with a swing set, is ready and waiting outside.
As an introvert, I loved this building. It had havens of quiet both inside and out. It also felt like it held secrets that I could discover.
In 2017, when Hutchmoot was moved to Christ Community Church in Franklin and more than doubled in size, I was quite leery. The first day of Hutchmoot 2017, I sat in my car in the parking lot looking at the door I needed to go through. Signs clearly pointed the way in, but the long sidewalk looked intimidatingly like a gauntlet.
Honestly, I’ve never done well with change — and this was a big change in something I had come to look forward to each year. Where would I go when I needed space, and quiet, and a social respite?
My car was stuffy in the Tennessee heat. I did NOT want to sit in my car, yet there I was.
Finally, after a long mental pep talk, I got out and made my way up that
gauntlet sidewalk and into the church.
It was crowded. Strike one.
I didn’t recognize the people at the registration table. Strike two.
I was beginning to mentally walk right back out that door.
I looked in the folder they handed me and found this map:
It made me smile. I immediately recognized the artist — Jennifer Trafton — even though she hadn’t signed it anywhere.
Spying the literary references and the names of beloved authors helped me breathe. This was familiar. This was homey.
Then, I saw it — the Introvert hiding place. Yes, they had thought of everything.
It was still bigger. It was still a little intimidating. But Hutchmoot is a place that embraces the Introvert and thinks about their comfort even when making big changes.