The arid, dry landscape of Southern Spain is silent. No birds or insects. Any sound you can hear is distinct: a farmer hacking old olive tree wood; a single car driving by; a jogger's shoes on dry gravel long before I see her; a fly passing my head. I can see far with grand views accross the Valle de Lecrin - sunshine and silence. On the surrounding mountain tops across the valley gigantic windmills are leisurely turning in silence.
A few days later an Irish priest tells me that the silence in his old house after he used to finish work in his school felt oppressive. We experience different silences differently. For example you don't hear your nervous system hissing in a quiet environment, but you can perceive it contrary to what John Cage claimed after his visit to an anechoic chamber: he said he heard two sounds, a high one, his nervous system, and a low one, his blood circulating in his body.
On another day during a walk in the olive and orange groves: in the distance a dork is barking. A plane is scraping by in the morning haze. I hear it before I look up. Somewhere on the opposite side of the valley a beeping sound, electronic, regular for a few moments - probably a lorry or tractor reversing. Passing an other orange grove I can hear trickling water irrigating the trees.