As Margaret thought about the dream in an uncensored way, she said that the shoes were a metaphor for the basic necessities of life. At first, she had none and then she had more than enough, even extras. The length of her stay, nine months, made her immediately think of pregnancy and creative production. The desert is an image of transition -- wandering in a dry land, looking for home. The desert also captures the endless, barren feelings that accompany change -- a nowhere place. People, ideas, and dreams have been left behind, but new ones have not yet replaced them -- like the midair moment of the trapeze artist.
The dream illustrates the experience of a transition nearing its end. When we come home, after we have changed, even our homes are new places, because these regions are now combinations of thoughts and ideas we had not previously put together.
This last section of the book reflects on the final stages of midlife change, the work and rewards. The women describe their turning points, and I examine the courage necessary to take risks and become vulnerable. We see how the changes they made internally are displayed in the world, often in work, and they tell us about their dreams and achievements.