Today I learned about Stumpy, one of the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin in DC that is about to be mulched so that a bunch of urgent structural repairs can be made. Stumpy is apparently a beloved local folk hero, because he looks utterly dead and yet every year he shocks the Parks Service by blooming. News that he (why he? today I also learned that cherry trees are gendered) was going to meet his end brought fans to his site with flowers and even a bottle of bourbon.

Fans were assured that Stumpy would live on โ€” the mulch would be used to support the growth of trees around the area, and cuttings from his flowering branches would be rooted by the Parks Department so that he could return to the site when the repairs to the basin are complete.

And then, because letโ€™s note that Stumpy is part of the famous gift of trees to Washington from Japan more than a century ago, this happened:

Twitter post by the Japanese Embassy of Washington DC (@JapanEmbDC): "Thank you, @NatlParkService, for caring for the 112-year-old gift of cherry trees ๐ŸŒธ. We visited #TidalBasin to honor #Stumpy, one of our most beloved symbols of ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต-๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ friendship. Your legacy will live on, nurturing future generations of friendship โค๏ธ."

There is still goodness and beauty in the world.