January 14, 1974

The Great Winds of the Earth

JAMA. 1974;227(2):195-196. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230150047017

I jog in the early hours before the sun is up—when the world is still quiet and deserted. This morning as I turned northward the first brief blast of the brooding, infant winter struck me. The frigid draft lasted only a few seconds, but it had journeyed far, from a place of inconceivable cold and loneliness.

I was reminded once again of the strange romance man has had with the winds of the earth. This particular arctic surge reminded me that long before Master and his measured steps and the cunning treadmills of today, this chill wind (in the face of the uphill walker)—that can cause sudden precordial oppression—was nature's own stress test. But some other famous winds also affect the psyche and soma.

In Hawaii there is a wind called kona. It is a driving south wind, and when it sweeps across our hill in Haiku, strange things happen.