|Mikko Isomaki is a writer of prose and poetry. His work has been featured on Finnish literary and Film Magazines. Having lived and studied in Scotland, he often writes of its people, society and landscape. He also has a keen interest in drama and script-writing. Currently he lives in Finland and writes both in Finnish and English.|
The Cottage on the Isle of Harris
When the oldest of the five sisters, Christina, died of tuberculosis, her sisters were grief-stricken. They couldn’t believe it. She was only fourteen.
Some years later, the second oldest, Dorothy, and the third oldest, Mary, immigrated to America and were soon followed by their second-youngest sister, Edith. They and their youngest sister, Isobel, never saw each other again.
Isobel got married, gave birth to three girls and mothered her cousin’s orphaned boy. While I grew up I heard her rarely speak of my aunts. But I knew it was because they weren’t truly gone. Absent; they were even more present. I wonder did they miss Isobel as much.
The house where they all grew up is now left to rot – only the wind takes shelter there. Yet I can hear them! Their cries through the mist of years!
The last time I passed the cottage, I felt sadness sweep through me. But I didn’t grieve only over my mother, my aunts or my sisters but over all the Christinas, Dorothys, Marys, Ediths and Isobels who, and whose struggles are forgotten. However, if I was truly honest, I wept out of self-pity.