Bats We Know and Love
- 1968 - 1982
Many things come and go in our lives--our clothes, our exercise routines, our favourite TV shows-- but the ROM will always be a part of my life. There were bursting bus school trips in the late 1960s and 1970s. There were lone trips in the early 1980s seeking an escape from an overwhelming university schedule. There were many trips in the 1990s involving my husband and two very excited sons eager to see the mummies and the dinosaurs. There was a recent trip last fall where I met my university-attending son at the Mesopotamia exhibit. I'm sure he also sought a break from his many labs and projects. One of my favourite memories involved a watercolour painting class that I attended in the early 1980s. The class was in the evening so we would not be disturbed by fellow patrons. We moved from room to room with our easels and brushes and little stools and creative ideas. One night as we painted in a large hall, there was flapping and whooshing coming from the high ceilings. I looked up and caught glimpses of winking black objects. "What are those?" one of my fellow students asked. "Oh those are just the bats," the teacher replied casually. "They're here all the time." Bats don't terrify me like snakes do, but there's always the somewhat irrational fear that they might get caught in my hair. We bravely toiled on that night and many others trying to ignore the occasional whispering and stirrings above our heads. The bats would sometimes swoop lower into my peripheral vision and then just as quickly disappear. The story of the art class at the ROM accompanied by bats (even before the bat cave) often impresses people. Every time I enter the ROM, I glance quickly at the ceiling to see if my fluttering friends are still there. Maybe they, like me, keep on returning.