Tonje Lilleås

Liavarden – A hike to find inner peace

I’ve written several passages about how I hike to find inner peace. And in this post I want to bring you along on one of the recent hikes to Liavarden where my goal was to find some solitude.

First hike of the year

Easter had been amazingly beautiful and full of activities with family.  We had just celebrated our youngest getting his name. My oldest son had learned how to ride the ski lift on his own, and he skied the slopes like a true shredder. I felt so happy to be surrounded by the people I hold dearest and the nature that I love.

At the same time I had a growing feeling of being restless and overwhelmed. I knew this feeling was due to the fact that I had a lot of stress before we left for holidays, and I hadn’t dealt with it yet. Luckily I also knew that the medicine was within reach. And so I declared that Easter Monday I wanted to go for a hike and shoot to Liavarden. It would be the first hike of the year, and I was super excited.

Liavarden – Finding solitude in one of the most popular easy hikes of the area

The hike to Liavarden is a popular one among the locals. It’s easy, but it offers amazing views and if you’re up for it can work as a starting point for more challenging hikes. Since Easter this year had given us sunny and warm days, the trail had very little snow. So I didn’t expect to be the only one choosing to spend this beautiful spring day hiking here.

My goal for the day however was solitude and images captured. Images that preferably spoke of solitude and my love for being out in nature by myself. And now I find it suitable with a little detour.

Being open or over sharing?

As mentioned I use nature as a coping mechanism when shit hits the fan and I feel overwhelmed. However being open about how I sometimes get stressed out, doesn’t really come natural to me. I’ve chosen to be because I saw that I am the one unique thing I bring to the table. Therefore I don’t want to hide or give the impression that I am someone I’m not.

I think my images show that I find peace in nature. Negative space in my nature and landscape images I find represent the way nature helps me breathe and declutter. I also think my images show how I struggle with people in many aspects. People are rarely present in my images. And if they are they’re almost always either not aware of it because they’re just in the distance, or people I know really well.

Even if I do think being open about my quirks help my viewers see another debt in my images, I sometimes fear that people think I’m over sharing. I would love to hear your opinion on the matter, so leave a comment down below. Now back to the hike.

Stepping in poo and finding my rhythm

The first thing I did as I took my first step of the hike was to place my left foot properly in a huge dog poo. The dog had left it there right in the middle of the trail, on the only place it was natural to place your foot as a starting point, so it was not possible to avoid. Especially since I was looking up at the surroundings and not down at where I placed my feet. Lesson learned, I’m making sure my dog doesn’t leave her poo in the middle of the trail henceforth.

A few steps later though it was all forgotten, and I started to find my rhythm. I got my camera out and snapped a few shots as I was looking for my first proper composition. Mind you, this was mid day. The light was harsh and I wasn’t sure the photography would be all that good. I still really enjoyed this run and gun approach to photography, and made a promise to myself to do it more often.

The crowds helped med find solitude – and an image

After a while more and more people came passing me on their way to or from Liavarden. It’s always pleasant to meet people on the trails as everyone is so happy and nice. Saying hello as if we know each other, or at least giving a little nod and a smile as we pass each other. It does not provide solitude though. And therefore I made the decision to leave the trail a bit.

Off trail I found the first composition that had me working a bit longer. I mounted the camera on my tripod, added some filters, and sat down to breathe. I always like to sit down a take a few breaths whenever I find a composition I’m excited about. And there it was. The solitude I had been seeking and the image I wanted to capture. Both making its appearance at the exact same time. What a feeling!

And we all agreed it had been a nice hike

I captured a few more images, I had lunch, I ran out of water. It was a nice hike. On my way back down to where I was going to be picked up I concluded that I should do this more often. As I do every time I get to spend time with my camera in nature. I think it’s probably due to the fact that it leaves me with such an amazing feeling of calm and being energized at the same time.

Join me on a hike to Lake Fjelltjønna.

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Oh, I almost forgot; henceforth I will be posting every other Sunday instead of Wednesday. I hope you don’t mind and will pop back for a look at posts to come!





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