I have just had the most intense feeling of happiness that I have had in a very long time, maybe several years.

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Cloudberries and mountain. 10 mm f/16, 1/50 s, ISO 100, Sigma 10-20 mm f/3.5,

Way up in the Norwegian mountains, the midday sun is high in the sky, white, puffy clouds drifting by. The air is still, with the occasional whiff of a light breeze. The dominant sounds are from the birds flying around me and between the trees. Insects are buzzing different tones from the high pitched mosquito to the more flapping sound of the dragonfly. From where I am sitting I can hardly see any sign of human presence, but I hear them in the distance. Happy children, caring parents. The sound of tools, somebody is working around their cabin. A car passing on the gravel road. But every now and then complete silence, only broken by nature’s own sounds.

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The pond of happiness. 16 mm, f/11, 1/50 s, ISO 100, Canon EF-S 15-85 IS USM

In the middle of all this, I sit on a tussock of moss by the edge of a pond. After walking around for a while, taking some pictures, I sit down, camera bag beside me and the camera ready in my hands, to photograph whatever my eyes find. I feel completely at ease, free from problems and expectations. Whether the images are any good is not so important. It is this feeling of being a part of nature, being friends with the little spider on my knee and the ants that crawl under my shorts. Watching the dragonfly patrol the shoreline round after round, always the same route.  I try to capture it with my camera, but it is always too quick, its movements too unpredictable. And the auto focus of my telephoto lens is too slow.

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My best effort to capture a dragonfly. 225 mm, f/5.6, 1/600 s, ISO 500, Canon EF 70-300 IS USM

Some reeds form a heart-shaped reflection in the water. Makes me think of the ones I love, and the love that is no more. I am privileged, and I know I have made some right choices in the last year even though there were some tough decisions to make. And I am grateful for all the support I have received from everyone around me. So today, sitting here for hours on end just soaking in the wonderful feeling of being alive, I can’t wish for anything else.

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Reeds and reflection. 200 mm, f/5, 1/800 s, ISO 100, Canon EF 70-300 IS USM

When was the last time you felt immensely happy?

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