You miss the silence when you live in a city. Noise surrounds you, pressing in on you, constantly swaddling you in a shroud of sound. Babies cry, competing with too-loud TVs, while phones ring and sirens scream and people shout to be heard. The sound muffles the real world, as our world becomes what we hear through televisions and radios and telephones. You long for silence, you miss it. You wonder if it still exists out there, if any part of the world still experiences quiet.
So you leave the city, go just beyond the suburbs. Countryside unfurls around you, and you see the world anew. The universe turns down the volume on life. A sudden panic grips you as you wonder if you've gone deaf. Do you still exist, if you hear no noise? Does the world still exist, if it produces no sound? The panic subsides when birdsong cuts across your paranoia. The clear melody, warbled with such finesse, soothes your mind like a lullaby from Mother Nature herself. You hear the roar of blood in your ears, and feel truly alive. You do exist, and for the first time in a long time, you are not a product, producer or victim of the noise. You are simply you, reconnected to the universe. Thoughts drift into your mind, you feel creative. You feel alive.
But a part of you misses the noise, the hubbub, the constant stream of sound. The noise was a comfort, a constant companion. It walked with you in dark places, and dampened idle worry with its onslaught. Out here, the silence feels lonely. You are alive, but you could be the only person alive. The noise proved other people surrounded you, but the silence forces you into isolation. Do other people exist if you cannot hear them?
So you return to the city. At first, the noise feels threatening, and it overwhelms you. But you settle into the cacophony, and escape into the mindless chatter of shouted adverts and one-sided mobile phone conversations.
It doesn't take long to miss the silence.