Finally, for the Harris Hawk fans!
I am so excited to share with you this beautiful new pin for sale in our store. It is an original design created by the talented artist that has produced so many of our other designs, Christina Baal. It has taken a long time to produce the second collectible pin in our series and I'd like to share a little with you about the story behind it.
Our second design came out in 2017 which was coincidentally the same year that Ray was diagnosed with brain cancer. This was the "Wolves of the Sky," design of harris hawks hunting together. We never really did very much with it except t-shirts and hoodies. The shirts became an emergency fundraiser to help get us through that very difficult time in our lives. We were extremely grateful for that support. I spoke to the artist informing her of what was happening with Ray's health. In our conversation we spoke of another design that would honor the relationship between us and the birds as a celebration of his journey back from the brink. It didn't take very long, and this was the result of our collaboration.
But I have to admit, as time went by, things got much harder for both of us, and it was all we could do to hold our heads above water at times. Ray with his illness, and me, with the enormity of keeping it all together. The design sat inactive for a long time until I decided to finally bring it to you, in the form of a collector's pin.
Perhaps I struggled with how to share this image with our fans because in this image I saw so many meanings. To begin with, it is a symbol of us. Our separate lives ran parallel in our individual love for birds of prey and our lives' paths led us to forge deep bonds of mutual respect in caring for them. It was birds of prey that brought us together in the beginning of our friendship, eventually leading those two paths to merge into one.
It is also a symbol of our lifestyle and our family. We eat, sleep, breathe, travel with our birds surrounding us. Nothing in our life is planned or considered without their welfare. When Ray went into surgery, the falcons went with me, and after the surgery was successfully completed, I fed them in the hospital parking lot. In a lot of ways, they kept me from losing my mind.
It is a symbol of victory over insurmountable odds. Do not ever believe that miracles can't happen, because I live with one. We are grateful every day that Ray survived a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer, and that we were able to see your faces on the road again. I won't lie, it hasn't been a cake walk, and at times I felt like I was going to break in two pieces, but here we are. I believe in miracles, and I believe we will make it through this storm as well. You can purchase this pin at flightoftheraptor.com/shop.Please visit our artist Christina at her site to see more of her work. drawingtenthousandbirds.com.