In the summer, the Willamette’s clear blue waters pass swiftly over rocks and pebbles sitting close below the surface. During those bright, warm days in Eugene the transparency of the cold water invites you to dip your feet in or even your whole self.
In the rarely interrupted drizzle that is winter here, she carries no vestige of her estival self. Now she escapes her old boundaries, seeming to rise higher each day. The beautiful jeweled colors of clarity are gone, replaced by a flow of thin chocolate milk. It is as if all the colors of the dying leaves have leaked into her, melding together into a blah brown. Paint with watercolors and you will see what I mean. After rinsing several colors off of the brush into the same rinsing cup, you will find they have blended into a bland brown water. Even if the weather were obliging, you would feel no temptation to frolic in her waters now.
Fortunately, this unattractive aspect is not permanent. As the colors return to the trees and the shrubs and the skies clear, the Willamette will mirror their transformation. The flowers and cloudless-ness will be reflected in her sparkling waters once again.