It hit me like a wave.

I was at the local health food store, and picked up Imbibe magazine at the checkstand. It looked like something published on the West Coast, and indeed it was. Right inside the cover: the sweet faces of Eileen and Jeremy, the owners of Ritual.

Ritual was my favorite place in San Francisco. I was consistently there every day before I moved to New Haven. Jeremy and Eileen became my friends, and even gave me a Ritual mug and a few pounds of coffee. It was Ritual that I visited on my brief December visit, even when other people couldn’t squeeze me into their schedules.

As I leafed through the article about Ritual, I recognized the faces sitting at the bar on the far end of the counter. There was Jeremiah, my hairdresser, sitting next to DaveL, who I used to hang out with at Ritual (and who became a good friend as a result). There was the red wall in the back, the windows.

The homesickness hit me like a wave. I’ve been here almost a year, and I’ve never gotten a wave of it like that. But a few strong images of the place I most loved at the end of my time in SF, and I was crying at the grocery store. Add to it the fact that I cry very, very rarely, and it’s doubly surprising.