While people throughout the Grand Strand and the nation were engrossed in voting and election coverage Tuesday, a man was walking on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach near 11th Avenue North.
He had on a black wetsuit. Actually, it was half-on, only half zipped up.
A long surfboard was under his right arm. He was making a beeline for the Atlantic Ocean.
The temperature was 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
A block away, a youngish-looking woman had on jeans and a heavy brown and black coat. A fuzzy hoodie was draped over her hair.
She seemed to be searching for warmth while the man in the wetsuit seemed to be ignoring the cold.
Not too far away, a couple walked in the opposite direction, the man wearing long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, the woman in short shorts and a light jacket.
Each of them was experiencing this place in a way that fit them best, the same way each voter’s choice fit his or her particular preference.
Not one of them was overtly concerned about the outcome of the election, whether in the new Seventh Congressional District or for the presidency or for the State House.
They were just going about their lives, enjoying life in a resort area, even when there was heavy cloud cover and biting and damp weather.
I suspect each will awaken Wednesday morning feeling the same way, no matter who they voted for, or even if they didn’t vote at all.
It’s one of the realities that can get lost in a barrage of a billion dollars worth of presidential campaign ads, an overload of political yard signs and bumper stickers and over-heated rhetoric about how the country would collapse if a particular outcome came to pass.
But it never does.
The waves continue crashing on the shore.
Ocean Boulevard remains a hot spot for tourists and locals.
And power in Washington and Columbia is extended or passed along peacefully every single time.
Every election cycle is described as the most important, the final line separating freedom and tyranny, the last chance to save the republic from those who are trying to destroy it through ignorance or heartlessness.
Yet somehow, the republic remains. Somehow we get along even in our sorrow or giddiness about the outcome.
No matter who or what you were pulling for Tuesday night, this is not the end, just another beginning, a chance to form a more perfect union -- once again.