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Yes, call me a snowflake

All together, we can nourish the earth, thank you very much



The irony of the massive snowfall in California this winter and the trend of calling liberals snowflakes, won't melt.

In a season where divisiveness continues its exponential name calling concurrent to California's historic snowfall is as if nature's mystic power wants to showcase how it works: A snowflake is one part of many snowflakes, so much so, that when researchers went to measure the snow depth at a data site on Slide Mountain at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe near Reno, the snow was too deep for scientific devices to measure. Statewide, the March 1 snowpack measured at about 185 percent of normal for the date.

California's snowflakes are not only nature's most welcomed gift of 2017, but demonstrative of the power of a snowflake. All those snowflakes will bring ample water to nourish California's agricultural economy. The next time you bite into a fresh celery stick, or savor a handful of almonds, thank a California snowflake. California's snowflakes help produce for the United States, " ... 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots, [and the list goes on and on]. ... No other state, or even a combination of states, can match California's output per acre," according to a Slate article from 2013, "The C-free diet."

Recently, when what appeared to be an angry man tagged me as a snowflake, my first reaction was, "How lovely!" I mean, have you ever looked at the unparalleled beauty of a snowflake when it is magnified? Pinterest is filled with photos of magnified snowflakes. No two snowflakes are exactly alike. Each is a work of hidden filigree art, with intricate complexity, yet unseen until exposed by magnification. "Snowflakes are wonders of natural chaotic symmetry, their presence the result of a harmonious symphony between various elementary principles. Delicate in form, exquisite to the eye, mesmerizing to the mind," the website partow.net states about snowflakes.

But obviously, I didn't understand that the contrary man mocked my continuing efforts toward empathy and compassion and my natural level of sensitivity. I do lack a single dimension of bravado and loud crass behavior (most of the time). I do care how the underserved among us are treated. I do believe the environment is a precious gift. I do believe that kindness will bring one's soul to fruition as opposed to a bullying attitude. So, yes, like a magnified snowflake, I strive to be a work of filigree art that is so light, yet so important to nature's scheme, that with the gazillions of other snowflakes that float like angel feathers on a frozen and stormy day, the earth and those of us who walk it are nourished.

So to those who feel enhanced by name calling, regardless of political ideology, please, continue to refer to me as a snowflake. I'm honored because while the word in slanderous form hints at delicacy and the inability to take the heat, it is the snowflake that when melted nourishes the soil, fills the creeks, the rivers, and lakes that are an essential element to life on Earth.

Charmaine Coimbra is a proud California snowflake. Email comments through the editor at [email protected] or write a letter to the editor at [email protected].

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