Ilana Maletz moved to Northern Arizona six years ago after spending most of her adult life on the east coast where she raised a family and taught music at the middle and high school levels. The story about Cha’risa first took shape six years ago, when she left city life behind and found herself enveloped in the wide open spaces of Northern Arizona. Every day, she would walk out the door with her dog, Lucy, and enter into a landscape of towering red rocks and box canyons, dotted with the fresh green of scrubby pine and juniper. It amazed Ilana, how she and Lucy could walk for miles and not see a single person. Out in that wilderness they relied on each other to find the paths, steer clear of snakes and to chase off the roving packs of coyotes. Together they spotted elk, deer, jackrabbits and all manner of birds and lizards. All the while, Ilana would wonder about those who may have walked these paths before her. "Cha’risa’s Gift" was Ilana’s way of trying to share with others something of what it feels like to be immersed in the magical beauty and wildness that is Northern Arizona.