Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ at rest

My garden: festive feijoa

I retreated into silence last night to consider whether it was time to end my quest. My original intention was to post every day of Advent. But that has not happened to this point and, during my little retreat, I decided  there would be no more posts after this one.

After 15 posts (16 including today’s) on silence, my quest seems to have come to a natural conclusion. For now, I am replete with silence. I feel no need to continue.

My quest has been an enriching experience. I am immensely grateful for your participation in my search for silence. Through silence and contemplation, and with your wonderful companionship, I have for the first time, in a long time, been able to create an accepting, peaceful, space in my heart and home for Christmas.

As Linda (Shoreacres) writes in her post Homes Made for the Holidays ” Christmas is coming, after all, and its spirit will find a dwelling in even the smallest or poorest of spaces.”

And so it has, already. In the silence, it came to me.  From my humble home to yours, I send love and best wishes for peace and goodwill now and always. Happy Christmas.


The interfaith tree in my dwelling space, 2018; this tree, fully decorated, was given to me in 2016 by a Buddhist friend. The skirt of the tree and the embroidered white cloth come from Christmas celebrations in Cairo. The green prayer beads were a  Hajj gift from a friend in Egypt. The beads help to remind me of another Christmas tree; a fully decorated  Christmas tree given to us by a Muslim friend for our first Christmas in Egypt.


96 thoughts on “Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ at rest

  1. Bespoke Traveler

    What a lovely lot of memories from your interfaith tree. Your search for silence during Advent reminded me of a line from Marianne Moore’s poem Silence: “The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence.”

  2. Mary

    Your post gave me great comfort to know that you found the silence and peace you were seeking Gallivanta. May 2019 continue to bring that which you sought to achieve.

  3. Clare Pooley

    I have enjoyed reading your Advent posts very much, Mandy. I am so pleased you were able to find the calm you sought and found a place for Christmas in your life. I am thinking of you today and have you in my prayers. xx

  4. Tiny

    I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that the new year has started well for you & yours. I love the messages of and around your Christmas tree ❤

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was a good Christmas, Tiny. The New Year is already a mixed bunch of events, starting with little Jack spending a day at the vet trying to figure out why his back legs were unsteady. No answers yet but probably some sort of arthritic pain. My wallet and my dog both suffered!

  5. lensandpensbysally

    It must feel particularly satisfying to know when you need to pull back. The knowledge and desire to experience the possibilities of silence is a gift to yourself. And as you stated, bathing in simple tasks such as washing the dishes had its own meditative quietude.

  6. Sheryl

    Happy New Year! I absolutely love the tree you made with your own hands. It is such a simple design and uses repurposed materials, yet it is so beautiful and elegant.

  7. Born To Organize

    As I reenter this blogging world of ours, I’m sorry to have missed traveling this silent journey. I’m glad you shared your experience, and happy to hear, too, that you’ve found a place of quiet contentment. Peace

      1. Born To Organize

        Thank you, Amanda. I had a lovely time with my both boys home from uni and Mike off of work. We did a lot of relaxing at home, took in a few dinners out, assembled puzzles, read and generally enjoyed ourselves. It looks like you’ve enjoyed some time of quiet contemplation. Your posts were lovely.

  8. Clanmother

    Thank you for this lovely journey. “Ive begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok, The Chosen.

  9. restlessjo

    We have found a very peaceful spot this afternoon. In sound of the waves and a stroll beckons to see how high they leap. God bless you and yours, Ann. The carol service was delightful. A hurdy gurdy and a voice as clear as a bell, but no Silent Night. Sending Christmas hugs 🌞🎅🎄🍰🍷💕

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad the carol service was a delight. Christmas Day is almost done here. It’s a quiet evening. Not much traffic on the road but I can hear children outside on the street trying out their new Christmas gifts with laughter and chatter.


    That’s too beautiful. I wish I could’ve joined in — but workload was cray-cray until today X Have a beautiful quiet happy Christmas.

  11. thecontentedcrafter

    Inner Quiet

    Quiet I bear within me,
    I bear within myself
    Forces to make me strong.
    Now will I be imbued with their glowing warmth.
    Now will I fill myself
    With my own will’s resolve.
    And I will feel the quiet
    Pouring through all my being
    When by my steadfast striving
    I become strong
    To find within myself the source of strength
    The strength of inner quiet.

    -Rudolf Steiner

    Happy Christmas xo

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, Pauline, what a delightful poem to send me. When my brother was a Steiner teacher I used to get calendars from the Steiner school where he taught. They had lovely artwork as well as a few well-chosen quotes. May we all be filled with the strength of inner quiet.

  12. Su Leslie

    Your image is beautiful in its simplicity. As I mentioned a few days ago, I have very much enjoyed being invited to share in this journey and I am glad it has ended in a place of peace for you. Meri Kirihimete e ngā mihi o te tau hou

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And I will borrow from Su Leslie’s comment and add Meri Kirihimete e ngā mihi o te tau hou. And from blogger, Kim in Fiji, I can give you Vakanuinui Vinaka na Siganisucu ( Merry Christmas in Fijian)

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Hmmm…. that’s an interesting observation. I was thinking it may have been the missionaries who came up with that word when they translated the Bible. But perhaps not.

  13. shoreacres

    When natural endings come, it’s best to honor them with acceptance. You’ve offered multiple avenues into a space of silence and solitude, and, for that, I’m grateful. May the rest of your holiday journey be equally peaceful, and of course celebratory. After all, December 25 is only the beginning of the Christmas season for us — not its end.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And the fact that it is the beginning is hard to hold on to, given the commercial insistence that the minute Christmas Day is over, we must throw ourselves into Boxing Day and New Year sales. Mind you, I am fairly good at resisting commercial pressures, so I won’t worry too much about those sales.

  14. angesco

    It’s been lovely reading these posts Mandy. Your quest affected me and helped me remember that I’m not a very peaceful person, but I find more and more solace in silence – albeit brief stints for me at this stage. Thank you for sharing.

    Much love

    Angela xxx

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Brief silences, I have decided, can be as beneficial as longer silences; a bit like the proverbial, 40 winks. Thanks for being in on the quest. Peace and love be with you. xxxx

  15. KerryCan

    Mission accomplished. How wonderful that you’ve achieved such peace, and shared it with us. I’ll miss the posts–they were a lovely quiet space in busy days.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am glad to hear it. I am now looking forward to immersing myself in the Christmas experience in whatever form it takes; silence, singing, laughter, awe, giving, receiving, and, of course, food. The same friend who gave us the Christmas tree is coming to our home to prepare a special Christmas dinner for us. How good is that! All I have to do is wash the dishes. 🙂


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