A time-resolved optical spectroscopic study of the long-period (P=10.08h) old nova Q Cyg has revealed persistent yet erratic absorption features indicating the presence of a wind, while the system was rising to one of its stunded outbursts. Data taken with the WIYN 3.5m telescope show P Cygni profiles in the He I triplet lines at 5876Å and 7065Å, which are absent in the He I singlet emission line at 6678Å, despite the fact that the relevant energy levels of those three lines are at very similar excitation levels. The Hα line often has a red ward emission tail, characteristic of a receding outflow, and it possess a blueward absorption profile during only one wind event. Kafka et al. (2003) argued that this behavior is due to the strongly metastable 2 3S effective ground state of the He I triplets, which becomes over-populated in conditions of low density and a dilute radiation field, over-populating in turn the 23P common lower level of He I 5876Å and 7065Å, leading to absorption from a low density wind. Therefore, the triplet/singlet lines trace two different parts of the system: the wind and the disk respectively.