I don't know why we think of wood as being soft, because it's not--not in the derogatory way in which we acquaint softness with weakness, anyway.
This kind of softness--or mobility, if you will, flexibility--is stronger than the fiercest steel. Metal is strong, but cold with so little life-force and no natural beauty (in this humble explorer's opinion, anyway).
But wood? It grows and *learns* as it grows--which way to bend, where to send roots, which neighbors carry medicinces, which toxins. And when it finally, finally falls? It feeds that which fed it.
That is the kind of sustained beauty, sustained strength, and sustainable life to which we should all bow, bend, and grow.