on learning lessons late

I am approaching forty, and as many do for this particular leg of the journey, I find myself in an uncomfortably dense thicket of self investigation.  I am constantly stumbling into the how-can-I-live-a-richer-life? shrub, or disentangling myself from the thorns of am-I-a-decent-human-being?  The unclear answers I come up with often just leave my map an incomprehensible jumble of squiggles.  So, there is delicious irony in the fact that my recent trip to Sunriver OR (I mean, is there a town with a more confusing layout, or a more ridiculously unreadable free tourist map?) served to clarify my journey.  
Myself and 18 other wonderful women spent 3 days laughing with each other, complimenting and encouraging each other, hugging, braiding hair, laughing some more.  My friend Iris had the idea and the will to organize this rainbow photo, (we persuaded a passing golfer to put down his club and take the shot).  The picture is beautiful, gorgeous color, happy faces... but what strikes me is that in order for this photo to come about we all had to believe in Iris’s idea.  We had to pack our assigned color, put it on, all get outdoors together (trust me that was no small feat), mill around in the cold, line up in order, and smile despite our freezing feet.
I am hard pressed to think of a better path toward a rich and decent life.  When I practice believing in other people’s ideas I am part of the emotional food that feeds them, I am part of the human web that holds us, and inevitably I am swept into something bigger, more exciting, and unpredictably joyful than I could have generated alone.  Here’s to believing in other people’s ideas!