A mother of four, photographer, nature lover. Someone trying to make sense of it all, through photos and stories. 

I try to be free in all senses of the word, so I made the leap and now work with what I love doing; taking pictures, storing this life in moments, both for myself and for clients. My heart is in photographing birth and motherhood, but I take on just about any photography job. 
(See my birth photos at www.birth.no and the rest of my work portfolio at www.mariavatne.no.)

I live on a farm in Norway with my man Nik and my children Ronja, Freja, Falk and Ulv, plus a bunch of animals. We grow our own food as far as the seasons allow it, we don't go to kindergarten, the three youngest ones will be homeschooled.

We govern our own lives, we strive for independence, we want to be in this life wild and free and full of love.

Farewell, Billie.

Farewell, Billie.

A part of my heart lies under the earth in our garden, between an apple tree and a raspberry bush.  

Two days before you passed, the swallows came back from the south and moved back into our barn again. A week or so before that, on a sunny morning in our back garden, Nik saw you there so royally resting in the grass, and said, She just wanted another spring, didn’t she. You wanted to stay until nature came alive again, until new life seeped through everything and you could enjoy the feeling of grass and soft soil under your paws again.

I have been dreading writing this post. I have been dreading the transition. Although we have been aware that your time was coming for a good while now, I never did prepare myself, really. Rationally, on the surface, yes - but in my heart there was no readiness for letting you go. So yesterday, when we were waiting for the vet to come, when I cried and thanked you and let the reality of it sink in, I promised I'd let you go. That we would set you free. And so we did. Free from a body that was weary of carrying you, of legs that hurt and couldn't run with you and let you fly across the fields anymore. Wow, you could really fly, Billie, when you took the leap and just gave it your all, your long beautiful body flew over the ground like a free spirit. All the times I just had to let go of your rope and just let you run, let that energy spring out fully, see you stretch out like a grey tufty gazelle over the fields. And in a way, that's what I want to believe we did yesterday; let go of your lead rope and let you fly away. I felt it, as you passed, the relief, the lightness, and then the silence. Your big head in my lap, like we always were, your heavy head resting on me, just that now it was resting forever. Surrounded by your humans; six hearts and six pairs of eyes pouring love and tears over you as you lay there under the little birch tree. Free. 

When I feel back on our life with you, these nine years, all I see is love. Your endless, constant, patient love. You have been a wonderful, wonderful companion. You have been the sweetest, most loyal, funniest and most beautiful dog, and I miss you so much it feels like my heart is going to come undone. I even miss your food-stealing from the kitchen table and counter, and you running down to the neighbours all those times to steal their food scraps, and your clumsiness and all the dust bunnies you created and how you always chose to lay down on the most inconvenient spot in the kitchen where everyone would stumble on you, and how you'd hit the kids in their face when you wagged your giant tail and how you'd step on their toes when they were little. I miss you I miss you I miss you.  I know that you had a wonderful life and that you passed in the arms of all the humans who loved you, I know that all is well, that it is the order of the universe, life and death, back to mother earth, but I miss you. I miss your smell and your cuddles and your soft ears and your presence. Your golden, loving presence. 

I thank you Billie, for everything. You have been one of life's true gifts. I love you with all my heart.

 This photo: Mona Moe Machava

This photo: Mona Moe Machava

Green.

Green.

And then, finally, it was spring.

And then, finally, it was spring.