The Silent Noise of Hearts & Flowers

This is as short story about a woman’s undying love of a notorious player. On this particular evening, they have a date. He is late. She decides to meet him, in hopes of surprising him. Her timing is perfect, as she catches him exiting the florist shop located next door to the building where he works. The look on his face tells her all she needs to know. But she dares to ask anyway, as she mentally prepares to catch her own heart in her hands, as it threatens to burst out of sheer anticipation. Or, because she senses that her lover is about to deliver a blow that her heart cannot withstand.

Are those for me?” Her voice betrayed her as it gave way, collapsing over these four simple words. Her hands automatically reflexed, without any beckoning from her brain, reaching towards the brilliant bouquet that rested so comfortably in his arms. In a failed attempt to appear calm, her lover motioned to swipe his touseled hair from his brow, a nervous gesture she had often witnessed, and had at one time, found adorable.

At that very moment, the collage of colorful petals fell to the ground with a deafening silence. She could actually hear the flowers lying on the ground, where they didn’t belong. Evidently, they didn’t belong with her either. The flowers remained there, sprawled carelessly between them, for what seemed like a tortuous amount of time. He made no move to recover them, but his lips began to motion with what she could only guess, were as many excuses as there were flowers on the ground. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and upper lip, betraying him as well. He spoke but she could not hear him. All she could hear was the silence of those flowers, and the shattering of her heart into a million pieces.

She couldn’t help but notice what an odd scene the fallen flowers and her broken heart made, lying there together on the ground, in misplaced solidarity. Strangely, they seemed to belong together. And had she been the intended recipient of the bouquet, they would have eventually died anyway, just like their love, which she realized at that very moment, had died long ago. Flowers had always been so meaningful to her in the past. They were little colorful bursts of joy that were meant to grow, blossom, and be given and eventually die at some point, much like the heart, which ultimately does the same.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Life in a Bubble

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people complain about living in Upstate New York – Rochester to be exact. The negative comments range anywhere from the shrinking economy to gripes about the winter weather. I’ve always defended my neck of the woods and I’m always more than happy to give the ‘up’ side of living here in the midst of all the hemming and hawing.

There are many cities that are faring far worse than Rochester New York. Especially, in terms of weather. The recent news coverage of our Western New York neighbor Buffalo, has kept everyone abreast of the winter pummeling that that region has undergone. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning, and it’s nothing new. It seems that every year, weather reports outline the havoc that the winter season wreaks on our ‘sister’ city. How Rochester manages to miss the bulk of much of the snow is quite amazing. It’s almost as if there’s an invisible bubble that shields us from the worst of the winter weather, while it makes its presence known to our nearby neighbors, Buffalo and Syracuse.

I guess you could say that we experience a little bit of every kind of weather here and to me, that’s great. The four seasonal changes are second to none. I love the ‘renewal’ affect that the ‘spring’ season brings. Everything is revived and comes back fresh and new. I enjoy summer for many reasons. One being that the days are longer. Secondly, some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets can be experienced during this season. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the ‘fall’ season. Nothing reflects nature’s beauty more than all the brilliant colors that the foliage takes on at this time of year; also know as ‘autumn’. Last but not least is ‘old man winter’. Yes, this season has its drawbacks, but the snow is pretty to look at.

While having a problem tire on my car addressed earlier today, I picked up the newspaper that was sprawled out on a little table where it’s last reader had left it. The front page caught my attention: Why Rochester? I swelled with pride as I continued to read. The article listed five reasons why Rochester is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

      1. It was named the third best place to raise a family in Forbes Magazine in 2010, which I was unaware of. I love it when I learn something new.

      2. Rochester’s ‘sister’ cities Buffalo and Syracuse get hit much harder by snow fall than Rochester. Just a couple of weeks ago, snow removal crews left Rochester to go and assist with some of the snow removal in Buffalo. Oftentimes, a storm will be pointed right at us. Yet somehow, Rochester seems to be positioned in a way that often allows us to escape the brunt of many storms, and thankfully so.

      3. Wegmans grocery store is one of our proudest home-grown businesses and now operates 85 stores in 6 states: New York = 46 stores, New Jersey = 7 stores, Virginia = 6 stores, Maryland = 7 stores, Massachusetts =3 stores

      4. Many Rochesterians are huge fans of the Buffalo Bills and consider the team as much a Rochester team as it is a Buffalo team. For the last several years, Pittsford New York’s St. John Fisher College has been the designated location for the Bills training camp. The Bills may not have had consecutive wins in a long time, but during the 1990s, they held a dominant streak. They were the first team to make it to the Superbowl in 4 consecutive seasons. Bills fans set a single-season NFL record of 635,889 in attendance during the 1991 season.

      5. Rochester is small in comparison to some of the bigger cities, but where it is smaller in size, it definitely makes up for in culturally diverse events. This city is big on the arts and pays homage by way of numerous festivals, concerts, etc. throughout the year. In doing so, Rochester provides a little something for all the different people that come out in droves seeking that perfect mix of cultural diversity to satisfy their varying individual tastes.

There truly is a lot to discover and experience here in Rochester and I am amazed at the things I’m still becoming aware of, even after having lived here all my life. All in all, I’m happy in my little corner of the world. Life in a bubble certainly has its advantages.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

August 2017
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