The road ends, but the journey continues...

A Walk in the Swamp with Joe

Over these past three years of Thanksgivings, a tradition of sorts has evolved.  It seems our son Joe’s holiday of choice is Thanksgiving. Each Thanksgiving since landing here in South Carolina after our between homes journey, he has flown in to join us at the family feasting table. This fourth year was no different. He spent 10 days with us, kind of a combination re-group after his 2.5 month vacay in the DR and holiday time with the fam. This year we three took our walk in the Swamp the Saturday after Thanksgiving as usual only at a new-to-us spot: Woods Hole. To date, that is hands down our fav Swamp-place. But this post is about last year’s Swamp walk…

The Saturday after Thanksgiving 2014, I took a walk in the swamp with my son.

My Jo-Jo at the Lynches River Swamp, SC (2014)

My Jo-Jo at the Lynches River Swamp, SC (2014)

Turns out, he has become more of a walker since his youthful accident a few years back which requires him to keep his ankle supple and stretched.  Because my hubby was in the throes of knee problems, we took our walk without him.  It made for a long-overdue Mother-Son time together.  Yes, we communicate via texting, phoning and e-mailing, but there’s nothing like actually spending physical time with those you are in relationship with.  There may not be much spoken, but just the living, breathing and, in this case, walking presence of another produces a deep communication that can only be transmitted in such a manner.
Me finding a prime stump at the Lynches River Swamp (2014)

Me finding a prime stump at the Lynches River Swamp (2014)

Getting into each other’s head and space, without pretense is very freeing.  It also helps me to sort through stuff.
That November, I was blessed to be able to focus on my Musical Non-fiction project, via my Nano Rebellion. It progressed nicely and I was pleased with my output as well as organization of said output.  It also served to re-connect me with myself.  A self that has by circumstances of ‘place’ not been easily allowed to come out and play.
South Carolina Swamp Cypress Trees

South Carolina Swamp Cypress Trees

The Monday following our Swamp walk I took Joe with me to be a part of my regular Wounded Warrior Horse Therapy volunteer time. I was excited to show him off to the gang as most of those there have family nearby 24/7 – warriors, therapists and volunteers alike. He got along with most everyone as he always seems to do wherever he goes, especially with Jason.  Funny, that, since they remind me of each other. Joe’s interest in the horses wasn’t all that much, but he did like seeing his Ma doing her horse thing anyway.
What happened there was something I didn’t expect. Doing what he always does, talk music with me comparing notes on gigging and crazy audiences; drawing others into our conversation cuz you know, everyone loves music. Between talking up his own bands and the Denver music scene, somehow it came out about my being a working musician, my dad being a pro-jazzman and that that was how he was brought up – surrounded by rehearsing musicians, learning to help set up gear for Ma’s gigs/concerts… No one there knew of my status as a musician prior to moving to South Carolina. I was just one of the horse handlers.  Mostly due to the fact it wasn’t something relevant to horse handling chores or in bonding with the warriors.  And also due in part to my own healing process related to the last months of our between homes experience…But that day, that ordinary Monday during horse handling chores and bonding with the warriors around the picnic table after therapy sessions, my son bridged the real me with the current me.
Lion King Quote

Remember Who You Are – Lion King


  1. Lulu

    This is the first time I’m visiting your site. Thanks for following my blog, because it led me here. I’m really enjoying reading about your creative work and your journey and am looking forward to reading more! Glad you had such a nice holiday with your family. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for stopping by, Lulu. I’m wondering if that’s a nickname for our shared named Laura. 🙂
      I’m in the midst of starting an all absorbing project, so not sure how frequent my postings will be for awhile, but I’m thrilled to have such a sensitive one as yourself reading them from time to time.

  2. Anna Scott Graham

    What a beautiful memory; I especially dig how the current me and real me needed to be joined. And that was a year ago, how might those me’s relate today?

    • laura bruno lilly

      …getting stronger every day!

  3. L. Marie

    What a lovely post. So glad to see your photos, Laura. See, this is the great thing about meeting face to face!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep…but it’s hard to do on a regular basis when we’re so far apart. 🙁
      BTW: Thanks again!

  4. Gerayn - Where my feet are

    Lovely post. I love to walk, as you know. I find talking to someone on a walk feels easier and more free, maybe because we are book looking forward rather than straight at each other. Glad your son was able to share his mom with the others. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Great insight, never thought about the actual eye contact connection during a walk…would love to share a walk with you sometime!

  5. jane Chesebrough

    I like the swamp photos-so different from the land here.I love how you call your son Jo-Jo so much affection in that term of endearment. i don’t understand the horse warriors thing too much but i think of the” trickle effect” that a design teacher wrote about, how one thing we do influences another. for instance,taking a writing course may trickle into our art making. I am thinking of horse warriors and music.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I have to admit, coming from Colorado, the swamp has taken a bit of getting used to…but It does have its own sense of allure.
      You’re right about the ‘trickle effect’…one of the themes that started during our between homes journey was that of Horses and Music as Healing
      As for the ‘horse warrior’ thing…just a bit of clarification: Horse therapy is where horses are used in therapy for all types of persons with all types of needs. In the case of the Wounded Warriors that is something you as a Canadian may not be familiar with: it’s a broad-based non-government program to aid our returning vets in re-adjusting to home-life whatever that entails for each individual. The horse therapy program I was involved with had a Wounded Warriors component to it that I spent most of my volunteer time doing. The perk was getting to handle/deal/train/be with horses without having to own one of my own!

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