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What Sets Our Hearts Aflame...

Hello Friends, and thank you for stopping in. Yes, I missed last week completely. A friend needed help after an accident and we spent the entire day at the hospital, followed by similar scenarios throughout the week. Sometimes life has other plans for us than we have for ourselves. The friend is doing much better and I am back to a more “normal” pace.

It has been an interesting time of late. The energies seem to swirl and sometimes overwhelming me. I don’t follow astrology religiously, but I might assume that is the answer. Planetary placement and movement. I do, however, subscribe to the Goddess Circle of beautiful and wise Ara Campbell.

This forecast came up for today:

“The Sun enters Leo, which shines the light of courage into our world. The Lion tells us to have faith in ourselves and in our dreams. Leo's energy is reminding us we need to focus on what sets our hearts aflame. This is a call to release the mundane, the settling, and what no longer calls to our soul. Leo also reminds us to have some fun and enjoy ourselves more.”

But I don’t know! I just know I feel it. Do you? I am feeling as if it is a time of transition - of some sort. I am feeling freer to shed the expectations of the outer world and be more in touch with my essence, my authentic self. Does any of this resonate with you and current energies? Just wondering.

My life seems to have been a rather constant search for that piece that sets my heart aflame. I am still searching, even at this ripe old age! The women I write about in They Persisted, and They Roared, certainly lived by their flaming hearts. Maybe I seek my flame through them.

The iconic Helen Kirkpatrick Milbank is a perfect example of someone who knew exactly what set her heart aflame and let no one extinguish it! Helen has a chapter in They Roared.

Helen was born in 1909 in Rochester, New York. After graduating from Smith College, she earned a degree in International Law from the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International Studies.

By 1935 Helen was in Europe working as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in France, and later the U.K. In 1938 she published This Terrible Place and the following year, Under the British Umbrella: What the English are and How They Go to War. Helen was on fire.

In 1939, now a journalist making a name for herself, Helen applied for a position as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. The publisher and part owner of the paper, Frank Knox, told her emphatically that “we don’t have women on the staff.” Helen, without missing a beat, retorted, “I can’t change my sex. But you can change your policy.” Frank hired her.

Helen Kirkpatrick was one of the first and best American war correspondents during the second World War. She was always at the forefront of the action. Oddly enough, she experienced little of the hostility that other American women reporters reported experiencing. A peer remarked that her appearance and expertise lay in commanding respect. “Helen was a distinguished-looking woman, having inherited the features of her Scottish ancestors, with height cheekbones and bright blue eyes. She was tall enough to overlook insults.”

Helen Kirkpatrick was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, and the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Franchise. Later in her life, she received the Rockefeller Public service Award for her service to the U.S. Government. Helen’s life was well lived and by her own design.

One thing about Helen that doesn’t come through via the written word is her delightful sense of humor. Durning an American University School of Communication forum, which was a reunion of a few WWII correspondents, a question from the audience was posed: “Ms. Kirkpatrick, given that you were a woman correspondent, what was your experience in the field as fa as pushback?” Maintaining a straight face, looking directly at the audience, she shrugged a little and said, “Well, I don’t know. You will have to ask the field.”

The photo of her is one I love. It feels like it captures much of her essence and attitude!


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