Monday, April 04, 2005

Yerkes Observatory

Yerkes

Born in the darkest hour before dawn, the hour when death stalks the weak, the hour before dawn stretches and awakens in the East, I began life as a creature of the Night. In the shadow of Yerkes Observatory, my earliest playground, the Victorian Temple to the Stars of the Night. Every night, my astronomer mother would wrap me in blankets and walk over the manicured lawns to the observatory to spend the night, working.

It was my home.

When my younger brother was born, she put me down for good and I learned to crawl, scuddling across the marble floors and playing in the halls decorated with the Constellations. The gladdest one of all was Pegasus. Running my baby sized hands over the mighty form of the Heavenly Horse, Pegasus was a reassuring and familiar friend. My desire for adventure grew as my ability to move grew. My parents would pause in their studies and notice I was gone. So they adopted a collie who followed me about, not that she prevented any adventures, she initiated them.

The grounds of Yerkes is like growing up in Central Park in NYC only this was an empty park which had few visitors. My brothers and sisters and I would run about this great park, climbing the trees and hiding in the forsythia bushes. It was the Garden of Eden. In my innocence, I trusted everyone and everything.

Then came the Fall.

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