When I first moved to DC when I was 22, the only person I knew here was Cheeky. I'd only known her barely two years, and mostly online. Ever since then, I've constantly been meeting new people and making new friends, but, of course, we didn't have much of a history. Now that I've been here since 2006, there are a handful of people with whom I have years of history, but most of the people I currently spend time with I've only known for a period of months.
It's difficult, sometimes, to spend time with people who haven't known you very long. You feel like you're making a lot of small talk at first, and then telling the same stories you swear you just told recently. Then you realize that you did, but it was to someone else you also just met recently. You crave spending time with people who have known you for awhile, with significant history.
I had that chance last night. In the time since I've been here, at least six other people from my high school (five from my graduating class) have also moved to DC, so I organized a mini-reunion. We shared dinner and half a game of Cranium (before children's needs superceded our own), but mostly conversation - catching up on our current lives as well as sharing memories of the past, some from eleven years ago. I brought my yearbooks back from Utah and we enjoyed going through those, looking at our pictures and sharing what we knew about the current lives of other members of our class.
It was refreshing. These friends are a piece of home to me, part of both my past and my present. In Harry Potter, the protection of his mother's love worked for a whole year if he just visited the place he called home even if it was a place as depressing as the Dursley's. The opportunities I have to go home, or to touch base with people who remind me of home and where I come from, give me the same kind of recharge.
Even if I don't see these friends all that often, since we're spread all over the metro area, it's good to know they are here. We share connections and a past, and now a present and future. Even those of us who fly solo most of the time enjoy having a flock to touch base with once in awhile.