Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress), Pebble Beach, California: photo by rickpawl, 19 April 2005
Once in another lifetime we lived by the ocean on an exposed point of land with a stand of Monterey Cypress as shelter against the incoming weather, often fierce in storms. Over the years the cypresses had bent together away from the dominant prevailing westerlies, and this had affected their pattern of growth; but unlike the taller trees that did not bend with the strongest gusts, they never fell. And so with time the whole stand had taken on an inclined configuration, as if stooping. Sometimes nature finds it wiser to give way for a while, so as to go on. Better bent than broken.
Old Cypress trees (Cupressus macrocarpa) on Cypress Point, Monterey, California: photographer unknown, Pillsbury Picture Company, c. 1907; image by trialsanderrors, 2010 (Panoramic Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)