The red-headed kid down the street I grew up on taught me to climb trees. He wanted someone to climb trees and sit with him on the highest possible branch and watch the sunset and appreciate it with him. That blue-eyed boy with his thick spackling of freckles wanted someone to watch sunsets with forever and I recognized him as a fellow lover of trees, and he recognized me too, but we liked the same trees, and he taught me to climb them anyway so that I would be able to appreciate the sunset too. I was obsessed with one tree in particular, thirteen years old, I would sit next to this tree, and try to draw her from her roots to her thick, steady trunk branching out into strong winding limbs that lifted twigs like fingers brushing through strands of leaves, the tresses of the tree drawing nourishment from the sun while I tried to draw every leaf, but I could not because there are just too many strands to be able to write every single one of them. I wanted to memorize this tree, afraid I would forget what she looked like, and so I wrote her down on paper, stopping to wonder at the fact that I was trying to draw a tree on what was once another tree, and so, I was obsessed with another.
Sahara’s first name is a ‘Lil lie’ their mom gave them. It belonged to their great grandmother, who upon seeing Sahara said, “Are you sure that’s not a boy?” She was almost right. They are a Two-Spirit mix of 5 tribes, and are fascinated by the ways in which words and lines create stories and pictures for others to consume.