The Moment by Author Gloria Amescua

This summer, my boyfriend and I joined two other couples for a river cruise down the Danube. I was thrilled to visit parts of Germany, Austria and Hungary, places I’d never been before—places I never dreamed of when young. I was in awe of the lush green landscape, old castles, colorful small towns, and bustling cities. The most significant moment though, happened in our touring clothes: he in his awful gym sweat shorts and hiking boots, and me in tennis shoes and nothing special.

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

The moment I’ll always remember didn’t happen during our whirlwind tours through Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Krems, Vienna, and Budapest. We heard the stories of ever-changing boundaries from centuries of migrations and invasions, from before the Romans to now. At the edge of the river, we saw bronze shoes of Jewish men, women and children forced to remove their shoes, shot and thrown into the Danube, honoring them and forever reminding us of the horror of hatred.

Danube Sunset

Danube Sunset

Incredible cathedrals arched toward heaven with stunning statues and stained glass, gold leaf carvings everywhere. I prayed and lit candles for loved ones in every one. Even though I believe God is everywhere, these sacred places drew me to my knees in reverence. There was power there, but it was not the moment that captured my heart.

That indelible moment came even after we took in the inequities of past reigns, the riches their palaces displayed. After we heard a Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna. After we watched Hungarian horsemen’s superb skills and after we glided by Budapest lit up at night like a fairytale.

THE moment happened while dancing to the simple piano on the ship. My boyfriend and I, still dressed in our touring clothes, were beaming and waltzing to the Blue Danube and more.

The moment that means the most—our joyous dancing—was one we could pack up, take home and enjoy over and over.

According to Gloria, why small moments matter: Small moments matter because each one blooms a star flower lighting our nights.

Gloria Amescua .jpeg

Bio: A CantoMundo fellow and Hedgebrook alumna, Gloria Amescua has two poetry chapbooks, Windchimes and What Remains. Gloria has been or will be published in the following anthologies: Bearing the Mask, Entre Guadalupe y Malinche, The Crafty Poet II, Southwestern American Literature, Echoes of the Cordillera, and Latina Voices: Protest, and Struggle in 21st Century USA. She has won the Austin Poetry Society and Christina Sergeyevna Awards. Gloria has also received the 2016 New Voices Award Honor for her picture book manuscript in verse, Luz Jiménez, No Ordinary Girl. Gloria’s life would not be complete without her two granddaughters who live happily with her son and daugther-in-law in Florida and the latest addition, puppy Pixie, and two cats, who all live happily with her boyfriend, Jeff.

Brave Tutu Note: Gloria and I met at our Write. Submit. Support. Class (WSS) at The Writing Barn in Austin, TX. As a part of that class, we were “assigned” to be accountability partners. This could mean whatever we wanted.  We decided to “keep it simple” and ultimately share a weekly goal list. That class and Gloria’s steadfast support and friendship has kept me grounded and more on track than ever before. WSS is over (a new class is starting), but our partnership continues. I am so proud to know this brave, talented and loving woman and I feel blessed to have her in my life.


Your Brave Tutu (Youre brave, too-too!)

-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.