2.5 years ago, on a cold grey February day, I was sitting on the subway train when I happened to pick up a magazine on the empty seat next to me. I don't recall the exact magazine, some kind of PC gaming one. I leafed through the magazine because I was bored and some screenshots from a place I had never heard of called Second Life, caught my eye.
Those screenshots were from the Lost Gardens of Apollo.
Perhaps because it was winter, I was bored and not happy with my 9 to 5 job and daily routine, I made a mental note of this Second Life place, with intentions to check it out. The screenshots looked interesting, and it looked like a place I would rather be than in the cold and crowded city, heading to a job I was not happy with at the time. Life felt flat and uninspired, but in those screenshots, something called out to me that felt like...possibilities.
I don't usually get too attached to places in SL. Everything is really only temporary especially in the virtual world, and I would like to think that when one place disappears, another new and wonderful one will make a debut. Yes, I'm an eternal optimist, and maybe to my detriment, but oh well.
When I heard that Lost Gardens of Apollo was closing, I felt a little sad and nostalgic because like so many people, it holds some fond memories for me. It was where I made my very first friend in SL, Lace Jonstone, when I had impatiently left Orientation Island on my first day (because it was boring as hell) and I was wondering around lost and confused and wearing a box.
This morning, on this summer solstice and longest day of the year, I headed over to Apollo to get a last look around and recall fond memories of times I spent with friends in this magical place.
Even though the sim will soon be gone, I will never forget how it was this place where my SL journey first began, 2.5 years ago, underground on a dull subway train in the middle of winter.