I was looking through some books gathering dust on my bookshelf.

A book about the history of whaling in the Netherlands came to be in my possession while I lived there. It was March, 2001.

A client of the veterinarian clinic came to learn that I was staying in the veterinarian’s home with his family. He was eagerly hoping to find a copy of a magazine that would help him in his research, that he thought I could help with.

It was Equinox magazine, which was the ‘magazine of Canadian Discovery’, no longer published. This particular magazine featured the history of whales in Canada. I was trying to remember more of the details of meeting this man named Martin, and how it even came about. Since I do remember that my mom found and mailed this particular magazine to me so I could give it to this Martin, I wondered if I had record of it in the emails my parents and I exchanged while I was away for the year.

My mom printed and filed in a binder, every email back and forth. A journal and record of my time there and a time capsule of what was also happening back home and going on at the time. I also have this binder on this bookshelf of mine. And, I did find an email, asking if my mom could obtain this magazine and send it along. It does say that it is the August / September 2000 publication that I was asking for. But a Google search cannot confirm this.

Martin met me at the house I was staying, the Veterinarian’s home. He was so thankful to receive this magazine that he was so curious about and as thanks, presented to me, his book, pictured above.

I googled his name and see his book listed, but not a website. He has another book of the land surrounding Rotterdam. Although I won’t know if the magazine helped him with his quest, it was a unique experience to meet an author of a book and provide him with something from my home country that may have given a different perspective on the subject he devoted his time to. Walvis is the Dutch word for Whale and the word that comes to mind first when thinking back on this event. The Walvis book.

I always find stories behind meetings so interesting. He undoubtedly never thought that a visit to the Vet would result in a magazine from Canada, about whales, being in his possession shortly afterwards.

It was very synchronistic, and thanks also to my mom, I was happy to facilitate the delivery of the material to Dhr. (Mr.) de Gruyl. You just never know what it may mean to someone.

Sending Love,


2 thoughts on “Walvis

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