The peppers fatten on the vine. We’re at the sprawling, luxurious place of summer where the greenery is prolific and the pollinators busy. In a few weeks, the slow cool-down begins, but not yet.

On a photography quest, my daughter jumps onto a rickety dock and snaps photos while I wander around to the other side. A heron flies at the far end of the wetland.

We’re headed nowhere in particular this day — just a Sunday, the two of us, and we’re out and away from the ever-present humming chores of work and garden and house and that list I’ve taped on the fridge — sell old car, paint house, buy freezer. I’ve bought the freezer.

These days, the world feels almost unbearably fragile. What’s happening? In the face of this, we crave the wild — the dark pond, the eagle slicing across the sky, the meadowsweet and Black-eyed Susans.

When my daughter leaps back to shore, we turn and look at the bobbing dock. A snake has wound up through the slatted boards. She shivers all over — our mutual dislike of the slithering — and then we head out of the woods and wetlands, back to the domesticity of home and garden.