The sky is black and below in the mountain basin is a wondrous living creature. She is breathing. If I were to take a photograph of her and show you she would lose the life within as you would lose it if I were to take a photograph of you, because when you are there looking at her in the flesh she is sparkling and is totally alive. I am told the vast lights of the city that stretch to the horizon only twinkle because of thermal currents making their way through the atmosphere. Whatever the reason, millions of lights pulsating with a rhythm that dances like the eight million people that live there is remarkable. We saw this looking down from the high vantage point of a mountain top called Montserrat onto a city that nestles in a basin two kilometres above sea level. I have never seen in my life before an entire city before me, in fact I have seen very few things made by the hand of man that is so beautiful. All these wondrous flickering lights are the sparkle of the people that live there. It is the city of Bogota.
This is the place that has no seasons, it is always warm and has occasional rain that makes it so green and full of fruit the whole year round. Here the air is thin and when you move with haste you have to breathe deeper and rest more. Here the crescent of the moon has slipped off its hinges and sits not on its side, but on its bottom like a great white smile that reflects the most welcoming smile of the people that live here. They are indeed one of the friendliest people I have met, and so varied in appearance that the whole country resembles a cosmopolitan city and is welcoming to all, even a red headed Englishman. This is Colombia.Chris taming the Cows. Photograph by Bouke Atema www.boukeatema.com
But I am not unhappy to leave Colombia. There is something inherently warming about the place I am in now. Here there are seasons, autumn paints the landscape with its wonderful colours and for better or for worse the dark months of winter draw near. It is cold and wet but wonderfully green. The crescent of the moon is as it has always been. When I speak to somebody they understand every inflection of my voice, I can use all words and full accent. Here there are people that have known me all my life, we have a deep understanding of each other that has been born out of the many layers of shared experience woven through time. They need me and I need them. I belong here. This is home. This is Yorkshire.