. First Steps in a New World for Toribio Moras, age 14, Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1908 The young Castilian boy set sail, alone, and sought to build a life across the sea. Adrift, so far away, you had no throne, and homeless, you spent nights beneath a tree. Your loyal sheep, the tawny fields of wheat, the olden Roman walls, the lonely knoll, your father’s strength, your mother’s voice so sweet remained forever deep within your soul. A thousand roaring waves away from home, the winter snow gave way to sultry rain; the ancient countryside, replaced by loam, exotic fruited trees, and sugar cane. I know! I wasn’t there for your arrival, when you stepped off the ship that fateful day and destitute, you fought for your survival without a helping hand to guide your way. I wish I could go back one hundred years, so I could be the person you first saw when full of faith, you conquered all your fears and stepped on that new land of hope, in awe. Your memories, Grandfather, light my ways: Your life's an endless source of inspiration. The years have passed and gone too are those days, but I remember you, with adoration. . . Rafael Moras, Sr. is a professor of Industrial Engineering at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX. He grew up in Córdoba, Mexico. Some of his essays, short stories, and poetry can be found on opusmoras.com. One of his novels was published by Amazon, and his musical plays have been performed in Texas and Mexico.