What Are We Searching For?

I decided to check the final 2018 stats on my blog this week. Nearly gave myself a heart attack. Not that it was bad…but the reality of the numbers and the fact that the globe was almost completely covered overwhelmed me. 65 countries have logged into my website this year, many of them multiple times. Even hundreds of times. The US, of course, topped the list with over 4000 views.

I’m from the generation where globetrotting was considered unusual. Travel abroad was for those with money and means. Granted, I grew up in a house where foreign students boarded with us from all over, so I understood the multicultural reality of our planet.

But websites and blogging have tightened the embrace.

On a given day, I may interact with people from half a dozen countries. And I might not even realize it. I’m used to calling my dad and asking about the weather in Kansas, but it still feels weird to ask a friend what the weather is like today in India. Or to be checking world time zones to see if someone would be available for a chat. And to consider that normal.

My kids play online games with people from all over the globe. But they don’t see it as unusual. They’ve grown up with it. They may not be multilingual except for high school level Spanish or German, but they manage to make headway in a world dominated by computer technology.

Back in the day, science fiction really was really fiction. Nowadays, we have nearly everything Captain Kirk had—but better. Granted we don’t travel to distant galaxies…or do we? We’re building telescopes that can reach to the edge of the universe. That’s a pretty big reach. We’re exploring planets, stars, black holes, and outer space like never before in human history.

At the same time, we’re discovering more about our universe on the opposite end of the spectrum. Go small and discover a whole new world. Look inside and travel deep into the microstructure of life.

It isn’t just that we are interconnected, but we’re a world changing at super speed at the same time. If Adam and Eve chomped on an apple for knowledge…I’d say we must be getting pretty close to the core.

Or maybe not.

God is infinite. Our search may go on forever.

Which begs a question: What are we searching for?

I remember returning to the US from the Peace Corps in the Philippines and realizing that there was a lot of work that needed to be done in my own hometown. In my own family. I hardly needed to go across the planet to find a cause to live for, a love to die for, or a purpose to give meaning to my day.

I’m glad that my website reaches so many countries, and I’m glad that my kids are living in such illuminating times. But I can’t help but wonder if we tend to look up when we should also look in. We’re peering at a screen when we should be gazing into a pair of eyes.

Am I tapping a pad, when I might be holding a hand?

Yes, I reached around the globe this past year, but have I touched a heart today?

Maybe I should tighten the embrace…indeed.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Omega’s Homecoming

omegas-returnAcross the darkness, a voice called.

“Father?”

A circle of light appeared and in the center stood a young man dressed in a short, burgundy tunic, black leggings, and a royal purple cape with a dashing short sword stuck in his belt. He bowed low.

Another man appeared, older and grayer, wearing a long, black cloak over a white tunic. The elder nodded to the younger, a half-smile glinting through his eyes. “Obsessed aren’t you, Last One?”

The young man grinned and, waving one hand majestically against the outer darkness, a humble village appeared with a medieval castle perched on the top of a low hill.

“An obsession you once shared, Father.” The son shuffled along the dirt path leading to the hill. “Call me Omega, now. It sounds so much more…hopeful. After all, your last is not my end.” A grin took the edge off his bitterness.

The father trod along at his son’s side, his hands clasped behind his back. “True. Though we all face an end—sometime. Remember that.” He glanced around at the villagers bustling amongst myriad thatched huts and fenced yards, hurrying to their daily business, offering low bows of obeisance as he passed. He tipped his head in a lordly fashion, earning wide-eyed curtsies from the women and squared shoulders from the men. “Besides, I was never obsessed. Not like you. Interested. Merely interested.” He glanced at the castle as he climbed the cobbled incline. “Your mother awaits.”

Omega twirled around as he locked his gaze on a pretty maiden. Tearing himself away, he trotted after his father. “Humans are my favorite. I believe they always will be. I’m making them my specialty.”

The father grunted as he twitched a branch off of a nearby tree. Peering at the stick, it suddenly transformed from a ragged twig into a beautifully carved walking staff. He tapped the staff on the paving stones leading to the castle gates—huge, ornate affairs with burly soldiers guarding each side. “You have many races to choose from—don’t be too hasty to pick a favorite. Keep your mind open.”

Throwing his arms wide, Omega appeared to embrace the entire village. “Oh, Father! Humans are the best. Cresta minds are so narrow and small, forever focused on science, pretending to be logical while lying to themselves; Ingots and Uanyi are like children inside mechanical bodies, and the Bhuacs, well they are intriguing. So versatile. Pity they’ve been decimated so often. They’re not nearly as resilient as humans.”

A bell tolled from the castle’s highest tower. Both men looked up, the father with a sigh and the son with adoration. The father waved his stick at the village throng. “Humans retain their barbarism for just such a purpose. They could never survive without it.”

Omega raced up the last paces to the gates and turned before the guards, his arms wide, a gleam shining through his eyes. “And what are we—without zoos and life studies? Surely those that live in our villages would consider us nothing more than oppressors—if they knew.”

The father stepped passed his son and gestured to the guards who promptly pulled open the heavy gates. He spoke over his shoulder. “If they knew. My point exactly.” He waved his son into the inner courtyard. Pages and squires bustled, leading horses to open stalls while stately nobles stood aside, clustered in private consultation. The sound of a hammer striking metal on the left told the tale of other industries near at hand.

“But, Father, they must know, in their own way—”

“They know they are oppressed because they struggle against it always—even when it isn’t there.” The father stared ahead as a woman appeared in the doorway of the keep. A youthful woman wearing an ornamental dress with a golden belt tied around her waist and thick hair falling across her shoulders smiled at them.

The father hurried his steps.

Omega hustled at his father’s side. “One day, Father, I will test your theory. I’ll create one of my own and—”

His father stopped and spun on his heel, glowering. “You can create nothing! Don’t speak like a fool. Your studies have made you forget your limits.”

Chastened, Omega lowered his gaze. “I just want to discover how far their natures will expand….”

With a huff of impatience, the father brushed his son’s words aside. “Someday you will realize that not all questions need to be answered. It fact, it is best if they aren’t.” He gazed at the woman, his scowl instantly replaced by a gleam of joy. He stared into the woman’s sparkling eyes. “I’ve brought him home—at last.”

Omega rushed forward and embraced the woman. “Sorry it took me so long, Mother, there was so much to see and do!”

The woman threw back her head and laughed as she wound her arms around her son in a warm embrace. “You never change! Always insatiable! Come, I’ve prepared a feast, just as you like it, warriors and roasted venison abound!”

Omega, with his arm around his mother, entered the confines of the keep. His father sighed as he looked after them, shaking his head and murmuring, “He’d devour the universe—if he could.”

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00