We have been living in a very old house in the countryside on a fairly busy road for the past two decades. Before that we lived in New York City, where you hear car alarms and fire trucks at all hours of day and night, and where there is always background noise. As a matter-of-fact, except for a few years when I was young, I have always lived in big noisy cities. You do get used to the constant background noise, but it becomes like a chronic illness. After a while you only notice how noisy it is, when there is silence in between. I know they say that quiet comes from within. But then they also say that we create what we connect with, what we need, what we are attracted to. When I was young I was always looking for inspiration from the outside - travel, experiences, moving to yet another place, or starting another career. You can create a certain amount of inner quiet, but at one point or another, peace and quiet around you are helpful for tuning out chatter, staying grounded, concentrating on your work, and promoting peace and balance.
It is wonderfully grounding and balancing to just sit in nature with no other noises than chirping birds, buzzing bees, the wind quietly sweeping through the grass, or the waves of a lake lapping at the shore - and in between utter silence, nothing. No electronic beeps and alerts, no planes overhead (just heard one), no cars passing by (several just drove past), no phones ringing (yep, just rang), no kitchen machines running in the background (I hear the faint noise of the dishwasher humming). All those mechanical human made sounds are less harmonious to our ears and grate at you after a while.
Inner and outer silence make room for creativity, for concentration, for going deep within. It's what they mean by a pregnant pause - the in-between space, the space that came before the Big Bang. This space is empty but so full of potential. I am looking forward to this quietude as a basis for increased creativity in the coming years. When I open the windows in our new house all I hear is birds singing, the wind swishing through the trees, and occasionally the neighbor's rooster crowing (ahh, such a European countryside sound to my ears, love it). Pure bliss.