The Celtic tree of life is a venerable symbol, and what better way to portray it than with a mighty oak. This design began with a drawing done in 1848 that depicted the Charter Oak, a great symbol of American independence. It was an unusually large white oak tree that grew from the 12th or 13th century until it fell in a storm in 1856. Tradition says that Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of the tree to thwart its confiscation by the English governor-general. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. I combined the tree with a knotwork pattern base to act as the roots, and my gracious returning client came all the way from Georgia and gave me his entire side, from waist to armpit, to stretch the tree on. He is a military man, and a policeman, and I wanted to add a dimension of history and meaning to the design in addition to the spiritual connection.