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  • Writer's pictureChar Seawell

A year of yes

Almost exactly one year ago, we honored our desert calling and arrived in our new home. With a deep desire for small town living, we chose a city unknown to us and sought out a home to fulfill a small wish list: no stairs, open, filled with light, and affordable.

We joked a train nearby to remind Tim of the soundscape of his childhood Edmonds home would be a plus, and I secretly wondered if I would miss the mountains. But we knew that clearly this was to be our next destination and moved forward in faith.

Still, it was a nerve wracking process to do online. But we were blessed with a Zen-like real estate agent who through it all assured us with what has become a new life mantra:

What’s meant for you is waiting for you.

When we drove into the city for the first time hauling our two cats, two guitars and some golf clubs, we prayed we would like this new place and pledged to be open to whatever God had waiting for us here. We knew we were done with traffic, big cities and with music, but we turned over the driving and the destination to a Creator who knew what was on the road ahead while we were driving blind.

Thus, we decided to live a year of “yes” to any opportunity God put in our path.

As we drove up to our new home for the first time, some fear accompanied our excitement. Having bought it online, we knew there was much that could go wrong, but reassured ourselves that it completed the wish list, and that would be enough.

Opening the front door, we were greeted with picture windows that revealed an expansive view of the Santa Rita Mountains, where everyday for the next year we would watch the sun rise, the sun set, and the summer monsoon rains develop and disappear. And the next morning, when the rumble of an approaching train appeared and an engine whistle blew, we realized there was a train across the street that would fill the air twice a day, just like in Edmonds.

What’s meant for you is waiting for you.

Settling in, we knew nothing of what would be our new directions here, but I knew personally that music would not be part of it. Years of caregiving had made even the two or three concerts a year an exhausting process, and the “business” of music was soul draining, so we joked that if God wanted us to do music, He would have to make it happen. It was time to rest.

The only thing we did was go to a summer open mic mostly to meet people. That was it. But a small tsunami happened, and by the end of this year, we will have played over thirty gigs in some of the best venues we have ever played. And more than that, this Tucson area has introduced us to an amazingly kind and gracious community of songwriters, fellow musicians and audience members who have received us like family.

What’s meant for you is waiting for you.

But as we enter our second year here, a new calling has been whispering to me, a Thoreauvian whisper to once again pull away…not from this geographical area, but from the busyness that has crept in and begun to establish a tyrannical reign once again in my soul.

Because of the busyness, there are songs that clamor for a voice and no space in which they can come alive and give voice to another human story. An unfinished novel or two or three are struggling to find space to write themselves to completion.

But the deepest whisper of all calls me to a stillness that allows the small things to breathe.

Because in this busyness, there are beautiful, small moments I am almost missing, and, unlike the T-shirt saying, I do, in fact, sweat the small things.

The Desert Willow blossoms appeared almost overnight and I almost missed their splendor and flexibility in the desert winds.

Watering the new plant from Africa, I almost missed the tiniest of pink star shaped flowers appearing amidst the succulent leaves.

And as I stood at midday in the midst of the patio pavers yesterday staring at the Santa Rita Mountains, a hummingbird flew straight up to me and hovered in front of my face staring right into my eyes, my life…my very soul.

What’s meant for you is waiting for you.

I am seventy years old. I think I should have a better grasp of who I am by now. I think that I should not have this immense longing for a home I cannot describe or seem to find. I think I should be “done” trying to figure it all out.

But at 3:30 am, like clockwork, the Spirit who whispers, “Write this,” has a different plan, I guess, and I come to sit in the dark before the dawn in the silence.

I think this new year, perhaps, will be a year of “living the questions”. I think this will require a new level of solitude and intense self-examination… a pulling away from activities and groups that distract me from my own path.

And I think it will be a year to shine a light in the dark corners of my own soul to seek truth, real truth, and not the easy lie that silences the inner voices clamoring for home.

In myriad ways, the desert has been trying to speak to me of this, and I have been too busy to listen.


As the pace has now been slowing in the departure of winter visitors and the arrival of torrid heat, a part of me recognizes that like the snakes who will work their way out of hibernation and leave exoskeletons of their previous lives along the trail, I, too, have an old skin that needs to be shed in the heat of summer.

The new skin I hope to find may well feel raw and vulnerable, but this old one no longer fits what longs to emerge. So I am willing to endure what I know will be a long, slow process of this next year’s journey because, well,

What’s meant for you is waiting for you.

And, as with all good things, I believe it will be worth waiting for.

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I hope the slower pace will allow you to write your songs that always touch the heart, but you can appreciate that this last year was wonderful display of both Tim and Char‘s gifts from God. I’m so glad that happened. Sorry, you will never be done with sharing music in someway because it fills your life. So glad I got to share in some of those “old” years with you



Char, Char, Char. Merci beaucoup for your thoughtfulness and insight. Ahhh, the desert opens to you. (it says I am unknown member: nope! Mary Dessein)



I am happy that you are feeling better an well enough to write an Epiloguer - I missed it! I am grateful for you, my friend, and for all the ways in which you have touched my life through music, photos, the written word. I pray that this year you will find the stillness you crave, and peace. You are in the right place, with the right companions. ❤️

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