Lochloosa

You can search all the images, postcards, and family vacation photographs in the world to see what Florida looks like, but if you ever wanted to know what Florida sounds like, just take a listen here:

Whenever I feel homesick, this is the song I listen to. Lochloosa is a real place, situated just outside the two cities I called home in North Florida: Gainesville and Jacksonville. I miss it. I miss all of it. Sure, homesickness comes in short spells but I feel a little closer to home when I hear this music. And listening to it sometimes makes me homesick.

Hammock, Swamp, Ocean, Scrub. The four trees on the front of this album represent the four distinct areas where I grew up. All four are on the land where I live; all four speak to me about who I am. The four abound at Lake Lochloosa. The higher scrub filled with pines on the way into the creek, the huge cypress that ring the lake, the hardwood hammocks at the creek, and the palm trees that intersperse the whole area and the rest of North Central Florida letting you know you’re still near the sea. They’re part of my family. After being away on the road for weeks at a time, there is no way to describe the joy it brings me when I catch my first homeward glimpse of them. I look out at these giants and know that the world in some way still makes sense to me. They open the door to a world that I understand, a place where I can balance the bubble between the lines on my own level of life. They say, ‘You are home.’ – JJ Grey (Mofro)

During our travels back and forth from Florida this summer, we’ve taken the southern route more often than not, if only so I could see the tree in a bayou or a swamp and feel closer to home. I like that I’m not the only one who feels such a connection to the scenery. And, serendipitously, a mosquito is sharing the room with me at the moment. Mofro and mosquitos. Why yes. This is what Florida sounds like.

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8 thoughts on “Lochloosa

  1. Whenever I go back to visit my family there are things I just love seeing too, like the city’s skyline is just stunning and I try to take as many pictures of it as I can. I love the swamps of Florida when you are driving around, to me whenever I pass them even in the day time they feel like they hold such mystery in them. That’s why I would love renting a car to check out the actual scenery in Florida especially when you get closer to the swamps and all that.

    • I moved to Florida with the idea in my mind that it all looked like South Beach. How wrong I was. I fell in love with swamps and marshes, too, probably more. I hope you get a chance to take a trip through the state and see it in all kinds of new ways!

  2. When Jeff and I went to see them a few weeks back, JJ Grey said something that stuck with me enough to write it down on the spot. He said, “Wow, just look at this place, it’s amazing. You get to live here all the time. I come from where it’s flat, a beautiful swamp country with Spanish moss and slow-moving rivers. But you guys, you get to live in this gorgeous valley with these green mountains surrounding you. I guess the trick is finding beauty no matter where you are.” And then they played Lochloosa. Yeah, I cried.

  3. After listening to those few tracks on Amazon, I requested the CD from the library. I’ll give you this — it has a swampy, old Florida sound but that track #6 — Ten Thousand Islands — is some serious dope smoking music. Not that I would know anything about such activities being too old and all that.

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