I moved to Halifax in the summer with a pair of TOMS and the same Doc Marten boots I’d had since high school. I had a khaki jacket for spring and a pea coat for winter. It would be the first time I spent winter on the east coast. My mom, maybe remembering her childhood years spent in Ontario, sent me a parka that autumn.

That parka saved my life that winter, even though the native Haligonians said I got off light.

When I moved back to the west coast, that parka went in my closet and stayed there for five years. I had need of it a day or two each winter. This year, I’ve worn it most every day since November. This year has not been a normal west coast winter. It started snowing again this afternoon. I passed a man walking in the opposite direction on my way home, and as I crossed the next intersection, his footprints had already been filled in by the falling snow.

I can still hear it falling outside my bedroom window, icier now, making heavy piles on the pots in which I’ll plant this year’s garden. The pots are waiting for spring, like we all are, like I’m waiting for the day I get to put my winter parka away for the year.