Heaven’s Breath, the first history of the wind, looks at this ubiquitous and invisible entity from the point of view of geography, biology, physics, sociology, physiology, psychology, history, and philosophy. Lyall Watson shows how wind shapes the world and maintains its life, functioning as the circulatory and nervous systems of the planet, sharing our energy and information, distributing warmth, bringing rain, enriching or stripping away soil, air-conditioning the globe. Wind also disperses plants, animals, and human communities, shaping history: Trade winds have influenced human migrations and shaped imperial destinies; wind affected the outcome of wars between the Greeks and Persians, the Mongols and Japanese; wind contributed to the destruction of the Spanish Armada. And wind works on our most intimate feelings: The foehn, mistral, sirocco, Santa Ana, and other “ill winds” of the world can lead to disease, suicide, and even murder.
Watson had written a book that is full of strange lore and new perspectives on history, nature, and humanity.