Tom Brosnan, my Dad, loved guns and whenever he could get away from his business of hairdressing they, or a fishing rod, would feature big time.
It's 1940. The war had started and Dad had a right arsenal down in the cellar. Now I wasn't interested in guns but I didn't tell him that as he took me with him on his outdoor forays.
Looking back, I feel one of the greatest emerging paths in my young life was an evening he took me duck shooting out near Green Island Beach, a beautiful place on the outskirts of Dunedin where we lived.
We arrived at the pond early to get into position. My everlasting memory is lying in the long grass beside my Dad, taking notice of his remark, "always keep behind the muzzle of a gun".
|My Walden Pond
I remember his male smell after a long days work, amongst a plethora of smells from the life of the pond.
The sun dropped through the horizon, and the twilight settled over us like a soft blanket. A tangy breeze wafted from the nearby breakers. The only light, the reflection of the sky on the surface of the pond. A frog croaked and a pesky blackbird (nature's warning) shrilled. "Drat that bird " mutters Dad. I am in Paradise.
Suddenly a clutch of ducks plop onto the water out of the sky, so fast we hardly knew. This is where I close my eyes. A shot, then another, too close to my ear for comfort. You know, he liked guns, but did he really want to kill! Opening my eyes, the beautiful birds were silhouetted against the sky disappearing into the gloaming and all is quiet again. (We are back on 'Walden Pond') .
We stroll to our little James motor bike and bump our way up the cow track to home. I can only imagine my lack of concentration at school tomorrow.
This was bliss for me, beside the pond, with my Dad. I have never forgotten. This nature was to be my life and that has followed on ever since.
I feel so lucky having had those experiences and the chance to pass them on.