Revisiting A Light in The Darkness

Me picking my pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch on a sunny fall day.

I wrote this post almost three years ago and while I thought about writing a new piece for this year’s All Hallows Eve, I realized I couldn’t say it any better than I did back then – and also, the wicked weather on this gloomy Sunday afternoon has cast a bit of a spell on me, calling me back to the warmth of my bed where I hope to recuperate a bit before carving my ‘Jack O Lanterns’.

And so, for all of you fighting the darkness of disease, I hope you can find some light to guide you through the shadows as we head into the darkest part of the season…

A Light in the Darkness

Fall is my one of favorite times of the year. I love to gaze out my window and watch the burnished leaves drift from weakened branches, leaving trees naked beneath the moonlight. It is the time when mornings languish in darkness, ignited by the sallow light of street lamps cutting through a haunting mist. Cars glitter with the crumbs of a first frost and crisp mornings give way to pastel afternoons capped with puffy rain-swollen clouds. In the evening, the fog rolls in off the sea and dissipates into clear nights where stars peek through the wispy remains of cloud cover. It is the turning of the year, the time to surrender one less hour of daylight and prepare for the inevitable initiation into winter. It is a time of conflicted beauty, for while I enjoy the vivid transformation from fall to winter, it is the season that stimulates the woeful vigour of my RA.

RA has haunted me for eight years, and unlike those privileged creatures that sleep through the darkness of this season, RA does not hibernate – it is the ominous spectre that thrives in the damp chill of autumn and winter, pestering my joints with its invasive presence. In the morning, the crisp air crackles beyond the safeguard of my warm blankets and my eyes are swollen shut with fatigue. The thin reed of daylight filters through the delicate skin of my eyelids, urging me to get up, but I am weighed down by viscous limbs drooping under an invisible weight, like the frail leaves crushed under sodden dampness. I can hear the faint buzz of a chainsaw shrieking in the distance, singing the predictable song of another ghostly season. My vitality shrinks with the fading hours of daylight, and I hoard my energy to help me through the short clammy days that weigh me down in their chill gloom.

And yet, even in the midst of our darkest season, I am reminded that there is still a brightness to be found in the turning of the year – intermittent moments when the darkness is pierced by the sun burning through the afternoon clouds. Its golden imprint streams through the beaded condensation of my windows, warming my body, lulling the ghost of RA into a temporary slumber and filling me with hope. During my evening walks, I am guided by the flickering glow of jack-o-lanterns and the spicy scent of pumpkin mingled with charred firewood. I am enticed by phantom nights lit by the pastel glow of street lamps, and as I stroll by houses stringed with cobwebs, I can’t help but imagine the ghosts of inflammation being torn from my body and put to rest beneath the mock headstones that litter the yards for All Hallows Eve.

My Jack O’Lanterns from last year, lighting up my patio.

I am encouraged by the fissures of light that charge the haunting transformation of a new season. In these moments I am reminded that I can still be inspired by small miracles to get me through the darkest part of the season. The turning of autumn to winter is a time to reflect on how far I have come, to rest and recharge. In the glow of my jack-o-lantern, I am reminded that is it only a short period before the next transformation, and I can choose to ignite my own light in the darkness.



  1. pamcheslatta on October 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    You are simply amazing, Julia. I love your writing. Pam xxoo

    • J.G. Chayko on October 29, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Pam. Hope all is well with you. ❤️

  2. Rick Phillips on October 29, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    I so love this piece J.G. Maybe I can change a little of my opinion about how I feel about fall and winter. At the moment I cannot find a single reason to enjoy Fall and Winter. Brrr. But light ? Light? well maybe that will thaw my heart a little.

Leave a Comment

The information on this site are stories based on my personal experiences and is not intended for medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. All content is original and owned by the author and shall not be used or duplicated without express and written permission.

If You Like What You See

Some people have inquired if there’s a place to donate on my blog. This is for those who would like to offer extra support for my work and I thank you for this.

A bigger thank you to all my readers who offer ongoing support simply by stopping by for a visit. I enjoy writing and interacting with you.

About me

J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.