I have known my traveling companions, Linda Castillon and Richard Furlough, for many years. We have mainly lived in different parts of the country but connected in Texas, North Carolina, and Fairfield. We also connected because all three of us are cat people. I won’t say how many cats we have among us, but it’s quite a few.
I met Linda in Houston in the early 80s while I was visiting my friend Jane. Years later, when I was back in Asheville, NC, I called up the TM Center and discovered that Linda was the chair there. Richard called me a short time later, having just moved to Andrews, NC. So we went to potlucks, discussed our cats, and renewed our friendships.
Linda is the soul of grace and loveliness. I’ve never seen her other than kind, caring, thoughtful, and hospitable. Even when she is discouraging the beggars and hucksters on the streets of India, she does it with grace and respect. Her closest feline friend, Lucille, passed during our trip. We were all caught in the sadness and yet had a feeling of rightness because Lucille was almost seventeen.
Richard, I’ve known since the mid-70s, first in Chapel Hill, when he moved into the TM Center where I was living, and later again in Asheville. Richard is the personification of strength, drive, and organizing ability.
Richard is also the soul of generosity, gifting both Linda and me with this transforming trip. Richard has the trip planned down to the last detail, carries the luggage, and chats up every person we meet. He walks into a group of strangers and leaves with everyone smiling and laughing. In fact, he never met a stranger.
Both Richard and Linda have ready and charming social skills. I am more shy and retiring and appreciate those who charm the world around me. I can rest and be included on their waves of energy and appreciation for everyone and everything around.
I am blessed.
Images: Photos courtesy of Linda Castillon.