Experiencing The Way of Life in Second Life

The Way of Life, November 2021 – click and image for full size

As I’ve mentioned recently, the end of 2021 is approaching, bringing with it (for the northern hemisphere at last) the cold of winter. For Second Life it means we’re in the time of year that sees outburst of snowy realms across Second Life. Over the last few days I’ve been hopping around a number either as a direct result of my own poking around or on the recommendation of friends. One of the latter is The Way of Life, a Homestead region held and designed by Dum (dumeric Asp), and which came to my attention by way of Shawn Shakespeare.

If sledding and snowboarding happen to be you thing, then this is a good place to visit – although these are far from the only reasons, as we’ll get to shortly. I mention both here and now because the landing point sits on the top of a towering table of almost sheer-side rock, running east-to west across the southern side of the region, dropping from its squared top by means of a snow-covered slope as it does so.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Bounded on three sides by Tuscan-style buildings, the fourth side of this mesa is formed by the aforementioned slope, which has at its lip both sled and snowboard rezzers. These allow the adventuresome to descend the slope via the piste, either directly or using the slalom markers and ski jump, to reach the region’s lowlands. For those not so enamoured of such pursuits, a path does descend the slope close to one of the sheer sides of the snowy mesa, marked by fir trees that stand to attention on either side of it, guarding the way.

At the foot of the slope, the region spreads itself northwards from a snow-dusted Zen garden, the land almost entirely flat in nature, cut through in part by a meandering stream that flows southwards from the large lake that sits to the north, its frozen surface yet offering a glimpse of water moving below, flowing towards the throat of the stream. Around the lake lay a trio of cabins, all of them apparently open to the public to enjoy as they explore, whilst a second stream winds inland from a larger, mountain-bound (and off-region) body of water to feed the lake, explaining the movement of water under its covering of ice.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Whilst somewhat transparent, the ice is nevertheless dense enough to allow for ice skating, and skate givers are dotted around the rough shoreline for this purpose, offering more opportunities for exercise and fun.

The lake, cabins and landscape are caught under a midnight sky (other EEP setting are available, consult your viewer for details 🙂 ), with bright pools of grass rising above the snow to vie with the lake for attention. One of these is fenced-off, the retreat for horses, straw bales stacked alongside the cabin nearest them in readiness to become a source of food. Elsewhere, the grass is home to lantern-bearing snow deer and white-furred wolves.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Under the lee of the region’s mesa lie the ruins of some ancient structure tucked tightly into the lee of the mesa, the wreck of a helicopter alongside. Quite how the latter got here is open to conjecture, but it offers one of many interesting backdrops for photography.

The three cabins within the setting are all lightly but comfortably furnished, Dum here being assisted by a number of friends in supplying décor elements and furnishings. Thus they make for welcome breaks from the cold outside – although there are a number of sit points to be found out under the stars and on porches for those who prefer. At the time of my visit (given it was only pre-US Thanksgiving November), Christmas / holiday decorations were at a minimum (some lights strung around a couple of the outdoor trees, and a tree and holly around the mantelpiece within one of the cabins), so the region sit as a nice wintertime setting rather than a holiday time setting, which frankly makes it all the more (to me) attractive place.

The Way of Life, November 2021

For those who wish to use the setting a s backdrop for avatar photography, rezzing is open to all, with auto-return set to 2 hours – but if you do put props out, please do remember to take them back to inventory rather than leaving to to auto-return to vacuum them up and drop them on you; that way the environment is left cluttered for other visitors.

Aside from the glowy grass (the wonder / irritant of Full Bright) that to me didn’t feel quite right, even allowing for the lanterns placed out (or carried by the snow deer presumably in an attempt to explain its glow, The Way of Life is an easy-to-explore, tranquil setting that offers a charming and cosy location that should not be overly stressful for most systems (the default environment gave me between a 30-45 FPS average with shadows enabled), while the snowboarding, sledding and skating give visitors the option to have a little fun whilst visiting.

The Way of Life, November 2021

My thanks, as always, to Shawn for the pointer and LM.

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