A cool day in October, but warm inside the car. Left turn onto Derry, then a right onto Appleby Line. Heading south, down from the Escarpment, the thin road winding past horse farms and other large properties with houses set back, dotting, as they say, the landscape. The leaves are turning.
Cross the 407, and the single-family homes are replaced by large parking lots fronting commercial plazas, and mid-rise apartment buildings. Keep going south to Harvester, turn into the Tim Horton’s parking lot. Here.
Clutching Tehillim I cross the road and place myself on the sidewalk next to the open gate into the compound that looks like a large manufacturing facility, many low buildings made of concrete with corrugated roofs. No windows. A chimney from which rises white steam or smoke.
I can see the 18-Wheeler sitting at the intersection. I open the book.
Adonai is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.
In lush pastures He makes me lie,
Beside tranquil waters He leads me.
Then the vehicle is in front of me, slowing to turn and drive through the gates. I see the pink-faced driver up high in his cab.
My soul He restores,
He directs me in paths of righteousness
For the sake of His Name.
The smell of warm pink bodies packed into the trailer hits me. They are so many, distributed on three floors to maximize use of space. Even the weak and dead are kept upright by the bodies around them. The pigs on the outside have a view, like tourists. After all, it is the first time they have seen the sun and green grass.
Though I walk
In the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil
I stop reading, and just look. Blue eyes looking back. I want one of the last things they see to be a broken heart--as if somehow I could still their fear and make them forgive. I want to bear witness, I want to help bear the burden of their suffering. But I just stand there and weep, workers on their way to Timmy’s for coffee break giving me strange looks.
The truck drives away from the gate, further into the property, and another comes in the opposite direction, pulling a refrigerated trailer.
May only goodness and kindness pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the House of Adonai