Between Air and Water


By Craig Wilson.

Sailing is complicated. Not the type of sailing you’re probably thinking about, which might include the grandiose America’s Cup, or the painfully dull meandering wine and cheese bar that typically depicts “sailing” in Hollywood rom-coms. The type of sailing I’m referring to is the all-consuming kind. The kind that engages mind, body, water and air completely.

There is no activity as dynamic as sailing. It requires a communion and interplay of a wholly fluid environment. A dual environment of water and air that is entirely unpredictable, chaotic. And yet, within any given moment, when done well balance is struck, energy harnessed, and harmony achieved.

If ever there were a metaphor for mindfulness this might be it.

This is why the photograph above serves as such a powerful allegory. The sailor frozen in a moment of perfect harmony of mind, body, water and air. The interplay perfect and the entirety of forces at play unique to the moment. The only thing the sailor is required to bring to that moment is their full attention. There is literally no other way to play the game other than being present.

As a sailor, the quest is to constantly be in tune, that’s the magic of this type of sailing, riding that edge balancing the interaction of a multitude of forces. Not controlling them, rather responding with them.


Craig Wilson is a life long sailor, coach, entrepreneur, and author. The photo above is of Willie McBride, in the foreground, and Dane Wilson, eclipsed, training for the US Olympic qualifiers, striking a moment of balance. Published with permission from Mind + Matter. (

Author: A Salty Brother

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