I wonder how many times we've all heard "what are you waiting for... an engraved invitation?". It's something parents often say when the kids are stalling to eat their vegetables, or clean their rooms. Teachers sometimes use the phrase in trying to encourage the stragglers of the class to hurry up, and fall into the single file line.
I find that nature uses that same sarcasm with me. The only difference is, she actually follows up on it, and gives me that engraved invitation to enjoy her many gifts.
This woodsy path was actually a hidden offshoot from the main hiking trail, in a Raleigh state park. I was trudging along, being sure to stay on course, when right before my eyes, the trees opened up to reveal a road less traveled. Sunbeams highlighted the doorway, to get my attention. But it was the darkness of the forest beyond that beckoned me to enter, enticing me to explore and investigate whatever might exist, a little further off the beaten path. It was an engraved invitation.