The Philosophy of Bending

canada quebec-snow covers trees
canada quebec-snow covers trees

 The above image is from

Legend has it that Quebec, Canada, has a valley that points north on one end and south on the other. There is nothing unusual about the valley. The only thing that catches the eye is that its west slope is covered with pine, cypress, privet, and other trees, while the east slope only has cedar trees.

The reason for this strange arrangement is a puzzle that few people have been able to solve. It was an ordinary couple who accidentally solved this mystery.

It happened during the winter of 1983 when the couple’s marriage was on the verge of breaking up. To rekindle their love, they planned to take a romantic trip. If this worked, they would remain married; if not, they would go through an amicable breakup. 

When they came to this valley, it was snowing heavily. The couple set up tents and watched as the snow continued to fall from the sky. They noticed that the snow on the east slope was heavier and denser than the snow on the west slope due to the unique wind direction.

However, when the snow accumulates to a certain extent on a cedar tree, the cedar’s elastic branches will bend downwards, allowing the snow to fall off them. The cedar is flexible enough that the branches will remain intact.

However, the other herbaceous trees were less flexible, so their branches would break under a load of snow.

Due to the lesser amount of snow on the western side, some trees like pine, cypress, and privet can survive alongside the cedar.

The wife noticed this and said to her husband, “There once must have been a greater variety of trees on the east slope, but the heavy snow destroyed them because they could not bend underneath the snow.”

The husband agreed.

After a while, they realized something and kissed and hugged each other.

“We solved the mystery — you need to take as much pressure as possible from the outside world. When you can’t take it, you need to bend and take a step backward like the cedars so that you don’t get crushed by your difficulties.”

Indeed, bending is not falling and destroying, and it is an art of life. You need to be able to compromise(bend in time) under pressure, or else it will crush you.


hlday (2008, Jan. 30) 適時彎曲的哲學-雪松














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