The sun is brighter here.
There are flowers and green grass in the middle of February.
And the air is thick with pollution. It smells like cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, and other smells all foreign and unfamiliar.
But especially in the mornings, the smell of fruit just sliced will break through the smog.
I touch each palm tree as we walk through the busy city, and it feels smooth and fake, so unlike the rough bark of the trees at home.
I touch the flowers, these magical winter flowers, and they are the same softness of petals I recognize.
Things that are new and things that are the same.
At times, I forget what is new and what is the same.
The pineapple is the same, but so new, so juicy, so unbelievably fresh and sweet.
A city is not new, and lying in my bed, I almost forget this foreign city is new between the horns and the gunned motors and the city that is incapable of sleep- until an unfamiliar Colombian melody blares.
Streets that are clean, streets full of garbage.
Then a man walks up-hill, a full garbage bag larger than his body strung across his shoulders and almost trailing the ground.
Then another man opens his door and water floods onto the narrow side walk as he mops his entryway.
And I am wearing shorts in February.
"We're right above the equator in Medellin," people say. "That is why it is warm in February." But it is still magic, just like it would be magic for them to visit us and see the white snow and frost and feel the cold and see their breath. You can see your breath. But not here.
New magic is palm trees.
Old magic is seeing my breath and the clear point of icicles.
Spanish words dance around me and I touch another palm tree.
Each finger on a palm tree is a kiss for the Colombia that I may never see again.
Almost three thousand miles away, and there is the same moon and there is the same sun.
Almost three thousand miles away and they sing Amazing Grace and Holy, Holy, Holy, and request songs from Sovereign Grace.
We rotate from singing in Spanish then English- new then the same, but really all the same worshiping the same God.
This same sun, new but the same but new, is so bright I can feel it warm my icy being.