Dancing on the Brink of the World


As the signature species of Cypress Lawn Arboretum, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa has graced the landscape of our storied Memorial Park since its founding in the late 1800s. Century-old specimens may be found on each campus across our acreage, and this one tree will likely define the cemeteries of Cypress Lawn for all eternity.

The tale of the Monterey Cypress, though, branches out far beyond the grounds of our cherished Arboretum, originating on a lonely rocky outcropping of the California coastline and today reaching by sea and by seed to every habitable continent on Earth. My dear friend, Old Hespero, lives a grand global narrative of kinship shared between people and trees, spanning across generations, and spreading to the distant corners of our planet, along the way fostering a cultural connection with humanity that grows on as an anecdote of our deeply rooted relationship with all of nature.

The stories, photographs, paintings, and poems of this virtual exhibit will share this ongoing message with you, one volume at a time over the seasons to come. As is often true in the interwoven tapestry of life, one string stitches to another, and yet another, perhaps in unforeseen ways, leading in time to a vast work of art with meaning and beauty beyond the intention of any one thread. Such is true of the growing saga of the Monterey cypress, continuing here in these words and ever dancing on the brink of the world.


Featured Post – Volume XI – Coast



Trees, for me, and cypresses in particular, are a wellspring of creative inspiration. As a source of wellness, for mental and emotional sustenance, I will often just sit and be, for a moment beneath a Monterey cypress, looking out to the ocean.

On the coast, where I live in Pacifica, California, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa frames the landscape, defining a place worth knowing. Reflecting on life’s challenges and adventures, in the shade of a giant, is a way I know to get grounded, discover the calmness that may be, and to channel my personal muses into a bit of writing, perhaps a painting, or even a poem.