What are we Missing by Being Bystanders in Life?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.


I added the picture above, merely so that you could have something to look at.


The post is actually about this video:

Sleeping on the beach


I shot this at 0345 on the beach in Waimanalo, Hawaii.  I know it’s dark.  In fact, it’s black….you can see nothing, and that’s my point.


Some things you can’t see

You can only feel

Some things you can’t share

You have to experience them for yourself


So simple.

Yet, potentially life altering.


If you have never slept on the beach, with a warm ocean breeze caressing your body, and the sounds of waves crashing just a short distance away, I strongly recommend you do.

Add it to your list.

Make the time to do it.


My first experiences of this magnitude were on Okinawa, Japan from 1995-1998.  My children were young.  The 4 of us would pile into our tiny 3-cylnder Subaru Domingo and head for the northern reaches of the island.

We, and occasionally a Japanese family or two were the only humans out there.

We would roast marshmallows.  Sit around the camp fire, enjoy each other’s company, scuba dive once it was dark, play in tide pools, and sleep on the beach. We would get up super early, walk, and watch the sun rise.  They are some of my favorite life-memories.  And, I like to think, some of my children’s treasured times as well.



So, too, this morning.  There are a lot of people staying in cabins and condos along the beach.  Brent and I were the only two taking time to watch the sun rise.  I don’t care that we were alone:  I, actually prefer it.


I wonder, though, if the people who are tucked away, inside their beds realize what they are missing.


I wonder if they’ve ever taken the time to experience the day, literally, bursting into being.







It was so incredible that we couldn’t “just” watch.

Please don’t be a bystander in life….




The ocean (quite easily) convinced us to join her…

What an amazing start to an amazing day, in the rest of our lives.




Post script:  I’m not “lucky” and neither of us were born into privileged families.  We have made a series of decisions that put us here – on this beach – on this morning – enjoying its splendor.  I’m not here on vacation.  I’m here for work…but it is these moments of shared solitude that make life worth living.



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  1. Life is an adventure, not a guided tour. I walk for miles and am happy to explore so much of the world. I do want to try everything and experience life to the fullest. Thank you for the post and the pictures.

    1. Awww. Thank you for the comment, Alice. “Life is an adventure, not a guided tour.” I LOVE that!!!!

  2. I love the sound of waves. It is soooo soothing. Thanks for a soothing moment! Your post reminds me of something that happened many years ago in San Francisco. I was at Grace Cathedral and a bunch of us were walking the Labyrinth there. The funny thing was that there were a bunch of bystanders, watching us walk through the Labyrinth. It would have been so easy to join us but they just watched! Thanks for your post!

  3. Beautiful photo and memories. I too travel often and have been to Japan several times to facilitate workshops. I am so grateful to be able to create my life the way I want it. For the rest of this year though, I am creating rest and nesting. There is a time to travel and a time to enjoy home.

    1. So very true!! I have been traveling for years and lately it has started to take its toll. I may be coming upon a rest and nesting phase myself.

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