I have been reading Laura Bell's memoir, Claiming Ground, about her time herding sheep in Wyoming and learning, being, adapting, doing.
At one point, she suffers a relationship setback, is left suddenly by someone with whom she thought she shared an evolving, stable relationship. Laura Bell writes this:
Pema Chodrun (in When Things Fall Apart) says that things falling apart is both a testing and a healing. We think the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth, she says, is that things don't really get solved once and for all. Time after time, things come together and they fall apart again, like breathing.
I remember riding through the Gravel Creek drainage eight years after the Yellowstone fires of 1988 on a ten-day pack trip that led from a trailhead west of Cody, into the Park and out the south side, toward Jackson Hole. The fires had raged in this drainage, drilling a fierce heat down into the soil that sterilized it of all life. Riding through stinging rains, we found ourselves in a world falling apart. With no vegetation to hold the soil, cliffs had slumped into creek bottoms and water had cut raw channels through the hillsides, leaving only cobble. Even then I knew that wind-blown wisps of soil would someday catch among the gravel, that live seed would be dropped from passing birds, that in my lifetime this chaos would grow back into wild-knit life. But who among us can bear to see it go without a tear?