“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Psalm 39:4-5 (NIV)
I was so careful with my glass kiln when I first brought it home. Though it is in the garage, I went out to check it every few minutes and when it reached the maximum temperature, I did not leave it unsupervised. Now, I used the kiln enough to know how it works and don’t go running out to the garage every fifteen minutes on the dot. The other night, I completely forgot about it and left a piece in for over an hour. Fortunately, it was on a low setting so just sat there and was not ruined as it would have been at a high heat. The kiln really gets hot when it is going full blast. I need to use gloves to open and close the lid. The heat reminds me to be careful and not get too close. 1,500 degrees is hot enough to melt glass. Think what it would do to my skin. I have been careless about one thing. My eyes. Even though all the books and instruction manuals warn to wear goggles, I never have. I considered my glasses to be protection enough. A lot of times, I peak into the side of the kiln through two small vents. It gives me just enough view to check on the fusing process without opening up the lid and letting all the hot air escape. I’ve been doing that with no problems for months now, but, last weekend, as I put my eye up to the vent hole, for some reason, a blast of hot air escaped from the kiln. I did not realize until I smelled something burning that I had actually singed my eyebrow and eyelashes. My eyelashes on my right eye are now half the length of the ones on the left. I was really worried about my eye, but it seemed okay so I finished my work, making sure that I looked in from the lid and not from the vent holes anymore. But, my eye has not felt quite right since. I had a headache around that area for a couple of days and it feels dry and irritated. I’m hoping it is just allergies, but I made an appointment with the eye doctor for a long overdue check up anyway. Hopefully, she is not going to tell me that I have done something really drastic to my eye. I plan to buy some goggles and until then, will use husband’s welding helmet. Carelessness with a piece of equipment is one thing, but I only get one set of eyes. Like my kiln and my eyes, sometimes, I treat the people I love carelessly, too. I take them for granted and fail to remember that I each moment I have with them is a gift. Youngest son was in a car accident today. It wasn’t his fault. He is fine, but his car is probably totaled. I keep thinking about what might have happened. Hold your loved ones close tonight.