Pilled in one van, four unsuspecting students glance around the car for anything their eyes haven't yet rolled across. After eight hours, there isn't much left to look at. The sun has gone down, obscuring our view of anything outside the car that isn't one another or the dog we are traveling with. Without streetlights, the world outside our van is pure black without any of the bright lights we are used to seeing.
Passing field after field, conversation starts to lull as we have explored concepts from political unrest to white flight to our favorite colors. Everyone seems content sitting, viewing the passing black, like a few hours ago when that view was far more exciting. That's when Vanessa first spots it, hiding among the black surrounding us.
We quickly start searching. Darting our eyes from passing headlights, we squirm in our seats, trying so desperately to see what Vanessa confidently called out. Being unsure of what I'm looking for but trying so desperately to see it, I finally spot it and I finally see them. They turned to face me, welcoming us to Searcy, a place to which I'm a stranger.
One after one, we see them as they grow into more and more. Eventually they are everywhere, covering the black we had grown so accustomed to seeing. Soon we can't focus on anything else as they are demanding our attention, leaving us to stare in awe at something we had forgotten our lives were missing.
Excitement grows within the van as we are welcomed by more and more. Staring down from the void of blackness, they seem familiar. Maybe they strike resemblance to the Equitable Building viewed from Aderhold or maybe the Suntrust Building viewed from Lofts. We aren't scared as they step down from their resting points to welcome us, something they aren't able to do where we are from.
In Searcy, they are free to roam the skies, unlike Atlanta, where they choke on pollution and hide behind the smog. They came out to welcome us, to show themselves to the city kids that could have easily forgotten.