I think about this a lot when running or hiking in the woods. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve never been a music listener while outdoors. I’ve even recently started working in silence. No podcast or music or any sound. Just me in my office with the window open when the weather cooperates.
This silence was a great discovery. Without the foreground of other people’s words, I realized that the glorious beauty of nature was in its silence. I looked at the stars and heard their silence; the moon made no sound; the sun rose and set without a whisper. In the end even the noise of the waterfall, the bird calls, the rustle of the wind in the trees, seemed part of a stupendous, living, cosmic silence which I loved and in which I found peace. It seemed that this silence was a natural right of every man, and that this right had been taken from us. I thought with horror of how for so much of our lives we are pounded by the cacophony we have invented, imagining that it pleases us, or keeps us company. Everyone, now and then, should reaffirm this right to silence and allow himself a pause, some days of silence in which to feel himself again, to reflect and regain a degree of health.
From A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani