‘Sprung on Spring!’

Soothe your mind and spirit at the Oak Bluffs library.


The spring equinox is upon us, and on March 19, the Oak Bluffs library is celebrating a day of growth, hope, and wellness with its free “Sprung on Spring!” extravaganza.

The new programming coordinator, Amy K. Nelson, has planned quite the festivities. In addition to being a filmmaker and former journalist, she founded a mental wellness event production company to connect people to affordable help in New Orleans, where she lived until moving here about a year and a half ago: “I started creating events, and part of the goal was to reduce barriers to access and address the issues of mental wellness and stigma through a culturally conscious lens.”

Nelson decided to throw parties; “That’s the love language in New Orleans. They were covert mental health operations that came in the form of large parties. I had DJs and musicians, chefs, food trucks, pop-ups.” Festivities included a healing vendor village where she had massage therapists, Reiki, vision boards, and tarot card readers. “Then I partnered with mental health organizations. I also had an art village with all kinds of art vendors and healing vendors. These events grew, and really helped connect thousands of people to resources and healing within the events to bridge the gap as much as possible.”

When she came to the Vineyard, Nelson wanted to apply everything she learned in New Orleans. The day opens at 8 am with “Spring into Self-Care,” an interactive 45-minute class exploring gentle movement, meditation, and journaling practices to usher in the season, with mindfulness instructor Jelisa Difo. “It’s meant to begin the spring season with some gentleness and some ease, and helpful ways to incorporate these routines into our lives more frequently,” Nelson explains.

At 10:30 am, Lorrane Menezes will offer her very gentle chair adaptive yoga class, which cultivates flexibility, concentration, and strength while remaining accessible to all.

From 2 to 6 pm, the library meeting room will transform into a mental wellness space. Elina Savage will offer chair massages. There will be a table where you can create your vision board with magazines, posterboard, and glue sticks to carve out a visual roadmap for the new season. Nelson says, “It’s a somewhat meditative practice, and it can be really beautiful to have that and reflect back on it in the future to where you were on the first day of spring.”

In addition to oracle readings by Trish Ginter of Studio 13, Mary Shea will combine her Reiki healings with aura photography. “She will take a photo of you before your Reiki session, and these colors appear, and she will interpret what they mean. Then, Shea will take a photo after the energy healing to see if the colors have changed, and interpret what that might mean. It’s an immersive experience,” Nelson shares.

Likewise, there will be a table with ritual candles to take home, with some twine with which you can attach your written affirmation to release whatever you wish. Nelson says, “These are all different modalities meant to honor and celebrate yourself. We also will have materials from the Cape Cod chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) available for mental health resources, and other Island organizations that will provide literature.”

Nelson is pleased that “there will also be a community offering tree, where patrons will be prompted with questions like, ‘What blooms you?’ and write their answers to hang on the tree, which we will keep on display in the library. It’s beautiful and reminds us all of our interconnectedness. We are all on this Island together, and I think that’s part of what makes the Vineyard extraordinarily special.”

Nelson continues, “This is a baby soft launch of the types of events that I hope to throw on the Island.” Indeed, on March 16, from 1 to 3 pm, there will be an ear acupuncture clinic offering this practice, where people can learn about and, if they wish, try this modality, often used in response to trauma.

“The goal for both events is that maybe not everyone is entirely familiar with the different modalities, so it’s an opportunity to expose our community to them and the amazing, talented people who are gracious to volunteer their time,” says Nelson.

“One of the reasons I took this job is that the libraries provide connection and community, which is so critical. Connection is the antidote to isolation,” Nelson says. “I feel a responsibility to any community I live in to foster more connection. So, “Sprung on Spring!” is intended to bring healing, connect people to our mental wellness resources, and usher in the season, which represents growth, renewal, and hope.”

For more information, call 508-693-9433 or email oakb_mail@clamsnet.org.