Morning Prayer 
As I snug the laces on my running shoes, I feel the tiny stone under my heal and am thankful I felt it before I was one mile out. I head down the steep hill as the dog runs over, barking. A big, brutish German Sheppard, he sits at the edge of his property, only watching. He is master over his yard and guards his kingdom from me, the lone runner.  The neighbor drives by in his rusty old Chevy pickup. I covet this because it is an antique and has a column shift. He disrupts my reverie for only a moment like altar bells as a reminder to pay attention when you already were.   I scare a rabbit coming out from the brush. He sits and stares at me, quaking. I run by and then crane my neck to see him, and note his white tail disappear among the milkweed.  There is a ruckus overhead while the red-winged black bird dives at the crow in an aerial brawl over property and nests below.  The sun burns into my skin and the sweat becomes a shower. The clouds obscure for a moment and coolness raises goose bumps on my arms.  I end my run with a stroll around the yard, noticing how weeds and flowers coexist; the bees and butterflies and I tolerate each other as I pick a small bouquet of daisies.  I cool down in my driveway, walking into the south breeze, and I imagine the peach that I will devour soon; some of the juices will rinse down my chin and over my throat where in my neck and in my heart and in my head the pulses of the day are slowed.  Amen.